A substantial broadacre farming property in one of the state's premier year-round cropping regions will go under the hammer next month to wind up 40 years of one-family ownership.
On offer, through Rural Property NSW of Narrabri, is the highly regarded Tarlee, a 2484 hectare (6138 acres) aggregation owned by Paul White and his wife Wendy, who are now retirement-bound.
The property is located immediately south of the grain silo township of Edgeroi, where it straddles the Newell Highway, 22 kilometres north of Narrabri.
Tarlee was previously held since 1872 by successive generations of the Buchanan family, another branch of which owned (and today still owns part of) the adjoining Killarney Station.
Then comprising about 2630.5ha (6500ac) and shearing 6000 sheep, the property (trading as Tarlee Estate) was one of four North West stations held in post-war years by the Buchanans, whose home base was Belamere, Collarenebri (now Bungle Gully, Come-by-Chance).
In 1979, Tarlee was subdivided into four blocks and sold.
The largest portion was bought by Paul White, who later added adjoining Edendale and Part Belbowrie to make up the package now for sale.
When the property was earlier advertised for sale in 1941, the accompanying press report gushed that Tarlee was 'regarded as one of the best breeding and fat lamb holdings in the North West'.
That was at a time when sheep still reigned supreme on what is now prime cropping land.
Immediately to the north of Tarlee was the vast Edgeroi Station of some 60,000ha.
This is where the New Zealand and Australian Land Company ran 60,000 Merino ewes before the property was broken up for soldier settlement after the war.
Today Tarlee, like much of the surrounding country, is given over to wall-to-wall cropping - almost literally, as most of the internal fencing has been removed since grazing was phased out in the mid-1980s.
Of the total area, some 2340ha or 94 per cent is now under cultivation, farmed in long-term winter-summer rotations using minimum-till and controlled traffic technology.
The land is ideally suited to year-round cropping.
It comprises mostly level plains of rich chocolate and grey-black loam soils rising to gentle slopes of red loam to the east.
Average rainfall is 650mm and is underpinned by proximity to the Nandewar Ranges, which provide the eastern backdrop to the property.
Overland flows on the property are directed through designated vegetated waterways.
There are three equipped bores providing all water required for farming and domestic needs.
Crops grown in rotation include wheat, chickpeas, sorghum and cotton.
Included in the sale, unless harvested beforehand, will be the current crop comprising 947ha of wheat and 325ha of chickpeas.
The five-bedroom brick-veneer homestead, built in 1989, is set amid established gardens within a 10ha native tree and pasture reserve.
It features an adjacent in-ground pool and three-bay garage/office complex.
There is also a two-bedroom cottage.
Working improvements include two steel machinery sheds, workshop, original shearing shed, and grain shed and silos with storage capacity for some 2400 tonnes.
Tarlee will go to auction in Narrabri on October 24 unless sold before, and recent sales in the area would suggest a likely price range of $8000-$8500/ha ($3200-$3400/ac).
By PETER AUSTIN.