Local dairy farms amongst most expensive

Dairy farmland has seen a recent rise in value due to interest from North American corporate dairy buyers. Photo: Contributed

Tom Hayes

SEVERAL dairy farms in Gippsland, including one at Bundalaguah, were among the growing number of dairy properties being sold for higher prices throughout Australia, the Weekly Times has reported.

A private local buyer bought a 156-hectare dairy farmland property in Bundalaguah for $5.4 million, while at Leongatha, a family sold its 207-hectare property for reportedly more than $8 million.

The list also included a 310-hectare property in Poowong bought by a private Gippsland beef producer, and sold by the Chinese-owned DFP Australia.

In general, sales of dairy farmland have risen due to rapid interest from North American corporate dairy buyers.

The value of dairy farmland in both Victoria and Tasmania increased beyond $20,000 per hectare last year, while land in New South Wales remained steady.

In Victoria, the value of dairy farmland increased by 16 per cent, rising to an average of $21,650 per hectare. Tasmania only increased by 13 per cent, yet remained more expensive at $29,000 per hectare, the Weekly Times reported.

“Despite the drop in purchase intentions, dairy and mixed irrigator operators remained confident, especially in the north of the state (Tasmania). Scalable and well-located properties continued to attract sound interest throughout 2023,” Rabobank’s Australian Agricultural Land Price Outlook 2024 Report author and RaboResearch analyst, Vitor Pistoia, told the Weekly Times.

“The dairy market (in Victoria) particularly saw demand for smaller farms for expansion. Of all dairying ground sales, 33 per cent were deals under 100 hectares.

“Previously we might have three or four buyers competing for a dairy property, but this is more like two or three at the moment.”

Owners of dairy farmland have since agreed to multi-million dollar deals, which has seen a number of notable dairy farmland sales.

Listing some of the biggest recent sales, the Weekly Times noted that the biggest was a whopping $30 million for a 784-hectare property in Cressy, Tasmania.

With interest in Australian dairy farmland increasing, price rises may be continual. But, it remains whether owners are willing to sell, and if the right price arises.