THE Crothers family’s prized Dirranbandi property Booligar was passed in for $14 million at a Ray White Rural auction in Brisbane this morning.
The 11,253 hectare (27,806 acre) freehold property is recognised as an outstanding irrigation, dryland farming and livestock enterprise located 44km south of Dirranbandi.
The property has been in the Crothers family for 153 years. Booligar was taken up by brothers Henry and Thomas Crothers, who headed north from Maitland to Goodooga before settling on the Narran River in 1864. Brooks, the son of Henry, went on to run the property before handing it over to Tom, who in turn handed the operation to brothers Donald and Douglas during the 1980s and 1990s.
Initially run as a Merino operation, it was Tom Crothers in the late 1950s who began pumping from the Narran to irrigate 30 hectares of forage to make silage.
In the mid-1990s that Donald and Douglas tried their hand at growing cotton. That first 52ha crop paved the way for what is today the main focus of the business.
Described as a very good balance of country with deep grey and brown soils along the Narran River flats, the balance of the country comprises of red sandy loam soils. Booligar has about 6880ha of beneficial floodout country.
There has been 4022ha country developed for irrigation or dryland farming with the remaining country utilised for grazing.
There are nine fields covering 687ha (ranging from 24ha to 125ha) developed for flood irrigation by head ditch and poly pipe together with an open channel distribution system. These fields are also protected from riverine flooding by perimeter levy banks and incorporate tail-water collection and re-use. A 240ha crop of irrigated cotton is included in the sale.
There are also four opportunistic irrigation fields covering 695ha (ranging from 97ha to 300ha) developed under the Healthy Headwaters scheme, leveled for irrigation and head ditches developed when required incorporating tail-water collection.
There are five water storage with a combined capacity of 9210ML. There is also a nominal allocation of 4005ML and a multi-year volumetric limit of 4834ML per water year. There is also an additional 298ML available under an overland flow water licence.
Thirteen fields over 2640ha have been developed for dryland cropping used for wheat, chickpeas and oats.
Booligar has excellent grain handling facilities including nine 238 tonne silos, fertiliser and seed silos, and a grain shed.
Other improvements include a large steel machinery shed, workshop, and a 1200m airstrip.
The property also has 10 grazing paddocks and two holding paddocks. The Crothers have been typically buying about 400 steers a year.
Steel cattle yards are located at the homestead complex and there is a six stand shearing shed with yards.
Booligar also has six dams which are used in conjunction with portable solar pumps that pump into poly tanks and then reticulate through poly pipe lines to water troughs.
Booligar features two three-bedroom homesteads, both surrounded by established gardens, and three workers cottages. All of the accommodation is air-conditioned.
Contact Bruce Douglas, 0417 602 603, or Mark Scherwin, 0488 735 896, Ray White Rural.