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Beautiful Black Soils: A Hidden Treasure

Beautiful Black Soils: A Hidden Treasure


Beautiful Black Soils: A Hidden Treasure

Article by: Hari Yellina

Since 1929, the Woods family has methodically managed, preserved, and enhanced Lockdale, which is located south of Narromine. While the structure of renovations and infrastructure was impressive and a credit to the family, the real value lied beneath the surface, according to Ray White Rural Dubbo agent Brian McAneney. “The land is supported by its prolific black soils, which are well drained and have the Belah/Myall mix that is so sought after,” Mr McAneney added. Those soils are mostly black loams with underlying clay, but there are some red loams, he noted. Lockdale, which covers 1236 hectares and is mostly open ground with a mild slope, is a cropper’s dream.

The property is particularly well drained to the south, with two natural reservoirs and three enormous laser-leveled paddocks, according to Mr McAneney. He said the standard cropping pattern was to sow half the property to cereals and leave the other half fallow, and the vendor believes that 84.7 percent of Lockdale is arable. It’s not all about the crops, though. Traditionally a sheep farm, the Woods family has traded up to 150 head of steers in recent years. The three-stand shearing shed, which was supplied with Sunbeam electric overhead units, was in original shape, according to Mr McAneneny. He stated, “It has stood the test of time and is still a really robust building.”

Cattle can be yarded in one of two steel yards available. With a near-new Red River crush on a concreted race, those at the shed have a 250-head capacity. The southern cattle yards are a 100-head Red River set with crush and loading race that is five years old. Mr McAneney said the yearly average rainfall of 525 millimetres (21 inches) fell throughout the year, sustaining crops and meadows. Water was, in reality, a prominent component of Lockdale, he claimed. He explained, “The land is extraordinarily well watered, with 11 dams enjoying outstanding catchment due to natural fall and drains.” “It has endured the test of time,” says Lockdale, which has a 4.2-megalitre high-security stock and household system that uses water drawn under pressure from the Macquarie River.

The water is metered and piped to a 200,000-litre Rhino tank with a liner, which subsequently supplies the homestead’s garden and troughs. The three-bedroom brick veneer residence is surrounded by established lawns and gardens and has a freshly replaced Colorbond roof. A 700-tonne grain storage building, a grain and machinery shed with another 300-tonne capacity, and an additional 840-tonne capacity divided over 11 silos make up the rest of the infrastructure. In addition, there are many large storage sheds and a workshop. On March 15, Lockdale will be auctioned off. While it was impossible to give a realistic price range, Mr McAneney said a bare piece 20 minutes distant had sold for $2390 per acre last week.