Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has confirmed it has purchased New England grazing property, Glendon Park.
Glendon Park is located about 40 kilometres north-east of Armidale, and covers an area of 3234 hectares.
In a statement released today by Hancock Prospecting, the company said Glendon Park would be used to grow the 2GR Wagyu herd, and work in conjunction with recent acquisitions to continue to grow the 2GR Wagyu brand.
The Wagyu bred on Glendon Park will be finished and processed in Australia, before being delivered into mainly local and some overseas markets, including the Nobu restaurants in Australia and overseas.
Hancock Prospecting’s current Wagyu herd is about 20,000 head across multiple properties and is forecast to continue to expand with ongoing investment such as this, the statement said.
Mrs Rinehart said Glendon Park was a quality property well located near her existing operations and would support further growth.
“I am pleased to continue to invest in rural operations that will continue to grow our 2GR Wagyu business to meet the growing demand for our very high quality and delicious 2GR Wagyu beef,” she said.
The property had been advertised as having undergone a decade-long development project to integrate four adjoining New England properties into a sustainable beef production unit, which resulted in a top-drawer aggregation, offered as Glendon Park.
The aggregation ranks as one of the larger land parcels in the Armidale district and also one of the most diverse, in terms of its composition and its enterprise scope.
It was been listed by Mike Clifton of Colliers International for sale by expressions of interest in what was seen locally as a timely test of market demand for well watered Eastern Fall grazing land.
The property was offered by former global investment banker Renatto Barbieri and his partner, Armidale-born Charlotte Wright, known as Charlie, who sold the property to pursue other agricultural projects overseas.
They embarked on the present venture with the purchase of “Lambs Valley” in 2008. Within two years they had added “Duffries”, “Top School” and lastly the former piggery “Glendon Park”, to create the aggregation now for sale.
Situated in the Lyndhurst district about 40 kilometres north-east of Armidale, Glendon Park is a mix of plateau, valley and hilly country with soil types ranging from basalt to trap and granite.
Elevation range is 1000-1300 metres and average rainfall from 800mm to 1050mm.
Of the total area, about 85 per cent is usable grazing country, lightly timbered with shade and shelter trees. The balance includes a fenced-off area of 433ha of remnant forest with carbon credit potential.
Pastures are a productive mix of native grasses and introduced clovers, ryegrass, cocksfoot and fescue, topdressed under targeted programs.
A major initiative undertaken by the owners has been the implementation of a rotational grazing system as a means of fostering soil health and maximising retention of ground cover.
This entailed the erection of some 85km of new fencing, to create 112 paddocks (previously 48) together with connecting laneways, plus the construction of 120 new dams.
The ongoing upgrading of pastures, fencing and water infrastructure has been aimed at giving the property the capability to carry 2000 breeding cows (in 10 mobs of 200) in a 12-week rotation.
At present the property is carrying about 700 cows of composite breeds, raising calves to feeder weights, although cow numbers in earlier years reached around 1500.
Already the rotational grazing program is reported to be having the intended effect of enhancing soil structure.
Although now focused on beef production, the property is well suited to sheep (all four component properties previously carried finewool Merinos) and comes with three equipped woolsheds.
Further diversification is possible with 70ha already developed for irrigation from three dams on Glendon Park (and potential for a further 60ha), while the 15 concrete pads remaining from the former piggery offer scope for a range of intensive enterprises.
Other working improvements include three new sets of steel cattle yards, each with concrete race, crush, covered working area and drafting facilities, lockable machinery shed, workshop and silos.
Three renovated homes on Glendon Park included a main, four-bedroom homestead of double brick set in 1ha of gardens, plus a five-bedroom weatherboard home and a three-bedroom cottage.