A farm in Central Australia that produces irrigated hay has sold to a neighbouring cattle station for $6.1 million.
- Fodder farm was sold by the former president of the NT Cattlemen’s Association
- It is one of a few irrigated farms in the region and has a 1,000ML/year water licence
- Buyers will look at growing new crops, including industrial hemp
The Caason Group, which owns Aileron Station, has purchased one of two farms near Ti Tree, 200 kilometres north of Alice Springs, put up for sale by Roy Chisholm.
Oolloo Farm covers 1,047 hectares, has a 1,000-megalitre-per-year water extraction licence and six centre pivots.
It is a rare piece of freehold land for Central Australia and one of only a handful of properties that produce irrigated crops in the region.
Caason Group managing director Craig Astill said Oolloo Farm would be run by subsidiary Ti Tree Food and Fodder.
“While Oolloo will provide support for its sister operations at Aileron Station on the beef cattle side, we are anticipating Oolloo will give strong cash flows from its current hay production,” Mr Astill said.
“Oolloo will also support the group’s innovation/R&D agenda in developing new crops, soil management techniques and agritech.
“We expect the group’s existing interests in industrial hemp will also benefit from the purchase and, subject to relevant approvals, enable the group to continue its development in this exciting growth sector.”
In 2019, the company unveiled plans to grow hemp in Central Australia but has not yet planted a crop.
‘You can grow anything you want’
The property is one of two put up for sale by Mr Chisholm, the former president of the NT Cattlemen’s Association, who has owned it since 2017.
He told ABC Rural there was strong demand for the Rhodes grass hay produced at Oolloo Farm.
“We did around 4,500 tonnes last year on seven cuts,” he said.
“It’s pretty productive and a lot of people want hay in this district, so I think [the Caason Group] should do well with it.
“You can pretty much grow anything you want; just add water and a bit of fertiliser and away you go.”
Mr Chisholm’s other farm, Territory Grape, which is 12 kilometres south of Oolloo Farm, is still for sale.