The late Michael Burston who passed away in late 2016 was a noted cattle man, receiving an Order of Australia for his services to the cattle industry and the community.
As a Life Councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, he chaired many committees and was the driving force behind the RASV Beef Carcase Competition.
With his passing his family has appointed Ruralco Property of Melbourne and Benalla to sell by public auction his noted Benalla district holding of East Mount Ada on Friday 6 October at the Benalla Art Gallery at 11 am.
Located only ten minutes west of Benalla the property has a total area of 609 hectares (or 1505 acres) that is held in twenty-two titles, with frontage of over three kilometres to the Benalla-Shepparton Road (also known as the Midland Highway).
There is also a double frontage to Chesney Road that divides part of the holding.
Michael originally farmed in the southern Riverina but decided about fifty years ago to move to Benalla seek out a highly productive block of farmland to develop and acquired the first as a bare block that later became three allotments that he consolidated over time.
East Mount Ada was also the home to the Yallambee Poll Hereford Stud until its dispersal.
The East Mount Ada holding ranges from productive floodplain of the Broken River system to rising ground at its northern end and is located in the heart of the Broken River district.
For a property of this scale and calibre the physical improvements are considerable.
These include the architect designed homestead built in 1969 with four bedrooms, study, expansive living and dining areas with a billiard room.
Recently reroofed the home is set in established gardens with a tennis court, ornamental lake and jetty and solar panels on the roof.
It is adjoined by a detached double garage with toilet and another double carport.
The building area is 258 sqm with another 175sqm of veranda area
Set on a hill the house of East Mount Ada boasts commanding views of the distant mountains and the property.
Whilst planning the house, Michael envisaged that during winter the family on a clear day could see the snow-capped mountains from the house.
Other farm infrastructure on the Home Block includes a large steel framed hayshed capable of storing about 320 large rolls of hay.
Then there is a machinery shed with an attached workshop with concrete floor.
An enclosed stable building with two horse boxes plus another additional area that can store another 102 rolls of hay.
There is a principal set of cattle yards adjacent to the Old Thoona Road and the Midland Highway plus loading race, designed to work about 300 head of cattle.
Further infrastructure on the property includes on Tom’s Block a four-stand woolshed and bugle yards of about 700 sqm with under cover storage for about 700 full wool sheep, plus another storage building of about 174 sqm.
Extensive mains and three phase power whilst not connected is available in close proximity to these structures while almost all farm fencing is supplemented by an electric stand-off wire.
Mac’s Block includes a windmill, solar pump and bore plus an out paddock set of sheep yards.
The water resources available are also significant and include for the Home Block with an annual use limit of 242 megalitres that is included in the sale.
This licence allows 12 megalitres per day to be pumped from the Goulburn-Murray Water Zone 2 of the Broken system and in place is a diesel engine and large Batescrew flood pump.
There is also a separate 2 megalitre Stock & Domestic pumping right from the Broken Creek with two windmills and bores that were installed historically to drought proof the stock watering system with troughs in every paddock.
East Mount Ada has area that can be irrigated of about 255 hectares (or 630 acres) of which about one third was laser levelled for check bank flood irrigation during the 1980s.
Ruralco Property’s State Manager for Victoria Michael Everard says that due to a protracted period of ill health the resources of the East Mount Ada property were under-utilised in the latter years of Michael Burston’s ownership.
“By any measure this is a significant farm holding and the auction presents the opportunity for a farming family, investor or corporate to become involved to secure a premier north-east district holding.
“The soil types range from fine clay loams to slightly heavier clay loams with some lighter conglomerate soils.
“The existing pastures comprise a phalaris, Balansa sub clover and ryegrass mix while there has been a sound previous history of fertilizer and lime applications.
“I’d put the carrying capacity in the 6000 DSE or 375 cow and calf units range.
“I regard East Mount Ada as a canvas ripe for work and development to create a district farming masterpiece.
I am expecting bidding to begin from $4.75 million” Michael Everard says.
Further property information on East Mount Ada on the Midland Highway about ten minutes west of Benalla is available from Ruralco Property Benalla or their agents Luke Marple on 0458 722 932 or Brett Neilson on 0418 626503.