Blackshaw family offer East Gippsland Lakes District farm, Tarqua

Multi-generational dairy farmers the Blackshaw family are selling the 715 hectare Tarqua estate in Goon Nure, in Victoria’s East Gippsland and Lakes region.

Option one is a walk-in-walk-out deal including the freehold, dairy and herd replacements, all the water shares and a full of inventory of farm machinery.

The anticipated value of this is more than $5.5 million.

Buyers could also consider buying the lot without the cattle herd or machinery.

A third option is just the land, without water shares, livestock or equipment

The operation runs a 460 cow milking herd. It also offers 45 eighteen months old heifers, 97 twelve month old heifers, 60 2019 autumn drop heifers, 130 spring 2019 drop heifers and 30 spring 2019 bull calves.

Goon Nure is fifteen kilometres south west of Bairnsdale and Paynesville, 60 kilometres east of Sale and about 280 kilometres east of the Melbourne CBD.

“The sale options reflect the established productivity of the farm itself and its potential for alternative operations other than dairying,” Pat Rice & Hawkins agent Matt Childs said, adding “even though Tarqua is a top performing, well established milking farm”.

The Blackshaw family picked up the property, over eleven titles, and bound by three roads, in 2001.

At the time, it was a dry sheep farm, but Mr Childs said “they recognised its potential and sustainability for a large-scale dairying development, drawing upon their long-term participation in the industry both locally and in other dairying districts of Victoria”.

“The have certainly achieved their objective to build Tarqua into one of the most efficient, highly productive and performing dairy enterprises which would stand alongside the best the dairy industry could offer anywhere in Australia.

“Tarqua is operated as a self-sufficient dairy enterprise with a magic balance of irrigation, dryland cropping and native grazing.

“The land form is all flat to gently contoured pasture, on mostly grey sandy loam soils and with some areas of native timber retained with 687 hectares cleared for agriculture”,” the broker said, adding “the division into approximately sixty five paddocks accessing a central laneway that leads to the central dairy and farm operations area”.

At 785 Lower Goon Nure Road, the farm can contain 442 megalitres of high reliability ground water, plus another 100 megalitres, which is leased.

Saputo, which acquired the former milk processing plant of Murray Goulburn after its collapse, if a Tarqua client.

“The water resources are sourced through two major irrigation bores that are fully equipped, plus two separate unmetered bores under a stock and domestic water licence,” Mr Childs said.

“There is also a large registered turkey nest dam of eight to ten megalitres capacity that is used as a backup operational supply for crop irrigation as required.

“A catchment dam of roughly twenty two megalitres capacity captures local run off drainage or rain events as extra storage.

The water is applied via three T-L centre pivot irrigators – which cover 171 hectares. A Zimmatic lateral move irrigator is also available, which waters another 34 hectares.

Vendor Rick Blackshaw said he developed the irrigation systems “to operate effectively at the push of a button”

The milking facilities include a fifty stand rotary, in its own building with storage (currently Tarqua is a milk supplier to Saputo – which acquired the former milk processing plant of Murray Goulburn, which collapsed.

The current annual milk production is of an average 240,000 kilograms of milk solids to give an annual milk sales income of the order of $1.5 million, Mr Childs said.

“There is also an extensive mix of animal rearing and infrastructure facilities such as calf sheds, farm machinery and storage buildings, while the property has a three phase power connection with extensive on property diesel generation able to immediately run the dairy in the event of a local power outage.

Mr Blackshaw said there is a strong export market to China for twelve month old dairy heifers and he usually delivers about one hundred head into this rewarding market per year.

All the dairy herd is Friesian based.

The residences

Tarqua includes a family home built in 2003 using sandstone brick. The 356 square metre dwelling is surrounded by an established garden,

An owner-manager cottage, constructed in 1959 and measuring 280 square metres, is also on the land.

A brick veneer home, built in 2013 for the herd manager appointee and his family, contains 230 sqm of area.

The offering includes this sandstone brick dwelling built in 2003.

The enterprise

The operation runs over 460 dairy cows.

The farm labour includes one local full-time employee, the resident herd manager and family members, with significant labour continuity likely on the sale of the property, Mr Childs said.

“The farm machinery inventory includes modern effective plant and equipment inclusive of tractors, pasture management and production machines, cultivation and mobile equipment that has all been accumulated and well maintained over the last decade.

“All members of the Blackshaw family have participated in the decision to offer Tarqua for sale taking into account personal decisions to retire, or to follow new paths, all with the satisfaction that the ambitious investment and development plan adopted to create a top performing and ranking dairy farming enterprise has been achieved.

“I think all the generations of the family are to be congratulated with the wisdom, expertise and effort they have invested in this project and the results are here now for any interested buyer to see and appreciate.

“My view is that Tarqua can continue to operate as a top fully established dairy farm with scope for expansion, or the inherent productivity established here can achieve alternative farming operations that suit a purchaser.

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Marc Pallisco

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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