Southern Queensland drought hurting values after six years: HTW rural

Southern Queensland drought hurting values after six years: HTW rural
Southern Queensland drought hurting values after six years: HTW rural

It’s been a pretty ordinary August in the south-east of the state with continued dry conditions, fires and the annual Ekka winter westerly winds turning up on cue, according to the latest rural report from Herron Todd White.

The valuation firm noted that dry seasonal conditions are firmly in place on both the inner and southern Downs farming regions.

Winter cropping within the normally secure farming areas is very sparse.

"The concern now is looking ahead for this year’s summer cropping season with poor moisture profiles and limited water in storage for either planting or pre-watering."

For the Felton area, some 167 mm (6.7 inches) has been recorded for the year to date, about half that recorded in comparison to the same period last year.

For the 2017 year the overall total was still about 70% off the long term average. Overall market confidence in this area is still positive.

In western Queensland, the season isn’t any better especially west of Morven. For example, Cheepie has received 65 mm (2.6 inches) for the year to date and many other farmers are now entering their sixth year of drought and have been running their businesses either on a retained skeleton breeder herd or have opted to drove cattle or seek alternative agistment.

The HTW valuers stated "the market in these areas has not seen the same value growth of country further east."

It indicated there have been some firming value trends particularly holdings that demonstrate a diversity of country of say Downs, alluvial frontage or Mulga.

"It’s also one area of the market that we have seen external influence impacting on values with the competition by carbon abatement brokers and proponents.

"One could also assume many of the landholders who have decided to register a carbon abatement project have done so under the pressures of seeking alternative income streams due to the drought.

"The significant capital investment in exclusion fencing has no doubt been viewed positively but the general feeling is that once the season breaks, those who have the ability to control wild dogs and vermin will be able to capitalise on improved productivity."

With the strengthening in the wool markets it’s likely to create opportunities for graziers wanting to diversify back into sheep or increase market demands from potentially existing southern producers seeking further country.

Generally, every Shire west of the Dividing Range in the southern part of the state is drought declared with the exception of the Western Downs Shire. Between Wandoan and Taroom, between 350 mm to 490 mm have been recorded for the current year and broadly the country is reasonably pastured.

"This sector of the market has historically been very strongly competed for by local producers, particularly those who have benefited from additional income streams created by the coal seam gas industry. With the current seasonal conditions, we are now seeing out of district buyers looking at buying country in the area as demonstrated by the sale of Loch Craig," stated Steven Cameron a local expert.

The property sold at auction in August for $3,446 per hectare ($1,394 per acre) with reports the sale result may have been influenced positively given the property was well grassed and the successful bidder had immediate access for 600 head. The auction had nine registered bidders and was sold under the hammer to a northern New South Wales angus stud producer.

A Calvert 100 acre mixed farming property was sold for $800,000 in July.

The property at 63-129 Bexleigh Lane, Calvert (pictured above), features 100 acres with 25 acres of irrigated cultivation, diesel pump, two billabongs with permanent water and 6 horse paddocks plus day yards.

It comes with a three bedroom house and two bay shed. 

This drought proof, versatile and productive property is located in the Calvert area on the outskirts of Rosewood and 20 minutes to Ipswich.

Htw Southern Queensland

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