2019 was a below average rainfall year for most of Australia. The Western Australian wheat belt was no exception with below average rainfall reported in most areas. Strangely, the Southern area of WA, where most of our farms are situated, had for the second year in a row, below average rainfall. ‘Big Pond’, which is situated only 80km from the coast has had its lowest rainfall recorded over a two year period in 2018 and 2019 (see graph below). However, what little rain did fall, fell at the right time allowing a reasonable crop to be grown across the state. The stand out farm this year was Bella Vista where our tenant averaged 3 tonnes to the hectare of barley across 480 hectares. Bella Vista is mainly used as a sheep operation and over the last two years our tenant would have made huge profits from his sheep. Many sheep from WA have been purchased by farmers from NSW where stock numbers are low due to the drought. Our Bella Vista tenant runs 15,000 merino ewes across his three farms as well as cropping approx. 15,000 acres – so he runs a very big operation.
There have recently been some very strong sale prices for farms near some of our farms. We believe there have been very good capital gains on our properties since we began purchasing two years ago. However, we will wait for more sales data before we get too excited.