Hancock Ag spends $150m on NSW farms

Gina Rinehart at the National Agriculture and Related Industries Day in 2020.

Hancock Agriculture has purchased a 6856 hectare Wee Waa aggregation from the Findley family, which held for three generations.

The c$150 million outlay includes the 2982ha Cudgewa and two smaller farms connected to it, Pindara and Pian Plain, which also produces barley, wheat and corn.

Gina Rinehart at Fossil Downs, which Hancock Agriculture acquired in 2015.

All up, they offer 23,000 megalitres of water entitlements and produce 7000ML groundwater.

Cudgewa is speculated to output nearly 30,000 bales of cotton a year.

With the deal, the vendor, led by father and son Robin and Lucas Findley, will focus on creating another major cotton operation at the 28,442ha Etta Plains, near Julia Creek, in Queensland, which it acquired for nearly $25m in 2019.

Hancock reweighs

Hancock Ag is expected utilise part of the Wee Waa holding for fodder to support its Wagyu cattle operations; 43,000ha is arable.

In February, the group paid Ruby Red Farming owner’s Mike and Margot Black c$28m for the Warra Warra cotton farm, in Queensland’s Western Downs, also with plans to grow crops alongside operating that business.

Over the past 12 months, the Perth based buyer, led by Gina Rinehart, has listed for sale over 3.3 million hectares of farmland, including properties it picked up with its landmark $365m takeover of S Kidman & Co, with a minority Chinese investor, in 2016.

More than $250m was recovered in one round of disposals, earlier this year (story continues below).

Nearly $100m more was reaped last September, including from the 203,142ha Nerrima Station, in the West Kimberley, which traded to farmer Jonathan Emanuel for $30m.

The neighbouring Ruby Plains and Sturt Creek estates were also divested, to Crown Point Pastoral, directed by NT-based Silver City Drilling director Viv Oldfield and the Costello farming family.

Hancock invests again in New England

Wee Waa, in New England, over 500 kilometres north west of Sydney, is considered Australia’s cotton capital.

Elsewhere in the area, Hancock Ag is reported to own a half dozen assets including the 3900ha Warrabah Station, acquired in 2019.

The year earlier, it picked up the 3234ha Glendon Park aggregation, 40km north east of Armidale.

In the state, the group also owns rural investments in the Mitchell and Roma shires.

Nationally, Hancock Ag is believed to control over eight million hectares of grazing farms.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.