Local family buys quality Kununoppin farm

 Landmark Harcourts rural real estate specialists and selling agents Simon Cheetham (left), Merredin and Rex Luers (far right), Kellerberrin, with vendors Mary-Kate, Justin, Geraldine, Margaret, Damian and Ted Capp and buyers Sandra, Geoff and Peter Waters.
Landmark Harcourts rural real estate specialists and selling agents Simon Cheetham (left), Merredin and Rex Luers (far right), Kellerberrin, with vendors Mary-Kate, Justin, Geraldine, Margaret, Damian and Ted Capp and buyers Sandra, Geoff and Peter Waters.

ONE of the largest properties in the Wheatbelt to go to under the hammer in the 2019 spring and summer rural real estate selling season, Minniberri Farms, Kununoppin, was sold last week after auction to the local Waters family.

The 1359 hectare listing was marketed by Landmark Harcourts rural real estate specialists Rex Luers, Kellerberrin and Simon Cheetham, Merredin, as being a well farmed property that was fully improved and had quality soil types.

Based on vendors Ted and Margaret Capp's history of farming with their children Justin, Mary-Kate, Geraldine and Damian, coupled with the property being leased to the Waters family for 20 years, it had a reputation for being one of the most productive farms in the region.

The Capp family has owned the property since 1959/60, after second-generation farmer Ted moved from Cunderdin.

He said one of the aspects he enjoyed most about farming the property over the years was converting it "from a rather rough, undeveloped landholding to one of the top producing properties in Kununoppin".

The Capp family farmed Minniberri Farms as a mixed operation of cropping and Merino sheep, with a relatively even balance over the years.

"We always ran plenty of sheep because I liked working with sheep and producing a good wool clip," Mr Capp said.

Throughout the years, Mr Capp said one of the highlights was in the mid-1980s.

"At that time noodle wheat was attracting a good premium and we grew lots of Eradu and went through a period of some lucrative harvests," he said.

"There was also a period from 1989-2000 when we leased land and had a run of good seasons."

Mr Capp said one of the keys to successful farming and some wisdom he could pass onto others was having a willingness to try new things.

"It's important to change with the times to be successful, such as varieties, chemicals and tillage methods," he said.

"It's also important to study the soils on your property, as different soil types require different chemicals and tillage methods, for example, and you need to be able to adapt to that."

For the past 20 years, Minniberri Farms had been leased to the Waters family.

As they knew the country so well, it seemed only fitting that they turned out to be the buyers.

Geoff and Sandra Waters farm with their son Peter, his wife Shannon and their children Chloe, 18 and Jack, 15.

A pioneering family of Kununoppin, the Waters farming heritage dates back almost 100 years and across five generations.

"Purchasing this property just sures up our operation with the amount of land that we own," Peter said.

The Waters' farm operation comprises about 8499ha with properties at Kununoppin, Bencubbin and Mukinbudin.

About 75 per cent of their program is focussed on cropping and 25pc involves running 4500 Merino and Dohne sheep.

While a price was not disclosed, agent Mr Luers said "the property sold at value".

"We congratulate both parties on a quality property that has been well farmed," he said.

Both Mr Luers and Mr Cheetham said the rural property market was very strong and in fact, as good as they have ever seen it throughout their careers.

They said there were still a lack of good properties available to meet the strong buyer demand.