Thurla Farms has been owned by the Beasley Family since 1980 during which time it was predominately used as dry land farming for sheep, cattle and wheat. The current property area is 2,972ha (7,343 acres), of which there is 68.9ha(170.25acres) is zoned Industrial 1. The allocation of the Industrial Area is available for viewing on a property plan.
Thurla Farms is situated close to the townships of Mildura and Red Cliffs on the Millewa Road and is the closest property to the business district of Sunraysia, with access to road transport, air freight and passenger air terminals. As previously mentioned, an Industrial Precinct is being established at Thurla, which when completed can contain wineries as well as a total freight centre for the Sunraysia district with both road and rail utilities available. There is also town water, mains, roads and an abundance of electricity available for use on the Industrial Precinct area.
In 1995, Thurla Farms established an irrigation system on the property which incorporates the use of water from the Murray River. At present the Vineyard boasts 300 acres of wine grapes which has seen very good production of the highest quality fruit that has been coming out of the Sunraysia district for the last 10 years. The varietals consist of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon and Columbard. Thurla Farms has 20 acres of 10 year old avocados. They are currently producing very well, with approximately 1600 trees in production.
The main variety is Hass with the pollinators being Sharwell, Read and Bacon. Thurla Farms has 568 acres of almonds with 130 acres planted in 2008 and 437 acres planted in 2009. The variety mix is based round Nonpareil (Californian Paper Shell) with the pollinators consisting of a mix between Carmel, Price and Monterey. All almond areas are irrigated using the drip irrigation system.
There is also 200 acres of previously dry land farming area now being irrigated, which are fully operational with centre pivots. Presently this area is planted to lucerne. There is a fenced in paddock of 6 acres which has lucerne interplanted among the olive trees. The lucerne is being used for hay production and the olives are being produced for bottling or oil purposes. The olive trees are approximately 10 years old.
Located adjacent to the lucerne/olive patch is a 20 acre fully enclosed paddock that is irrigated by an overhead sprays irrigation system. We have to date produced onions, pumpkins and other “cash crops” with this irrigation system. Annually, this patch is planted to oats for hay in winter and vegetables in summer. With the addition of the reuse water and with our expansion projects, we will have approx 1800 acres of centre pivot irrigation available for annual crops such as grain, fodder and vegetables dependent on market demands.
The remainder of the property which is not currently irrigated is utilised for the production of seasonal dry-land grain crops. All irrigation mains and sub mains have been installed on the property in a manner to ensure that if an expansion of irrigation acreage is required, then it can be accomplished quickly and efficiently. By ensuring that there is no restriction of supplying water to the various areas on the property it means that production levels can quite significantly increase from this point onwards.
All of the irrigation on Thurla Farms is set up through a fully-integrated computerised system, which can be programmed up to 28 days in advance. Both irrigation and fertigation can be accomplished by a constant pressure pump system that is computer operated to a 72 valve system located in the vineyard area. Irrigation requirements on the property are all monitored by the “G-Bug system”, which is essentially a gypsum block with an in-built computer monitoring system that activates a read-out every 2 hours. The information is then downloaded via computer and translated into a variety of graphs to ensure that water management is of a high quality and that the water efficiency status throughout the property is maintained.
Thurla Farms also boasts multi-million dollar facilities throughout the property, which include general sheds, a 156 pallet coolroom, storage sheds for machinery/equipment, grain and general storage, work shops, stock sheds, offices, smoko rooms, chemical sheds, ablution blocks and more. The 58 square (under roof), 4 bedroom property house is extremely well maintained and has large lawn surroundings, beautiful gardens and an outdoor entertaining area, complete with a spa. A double lock up garage and separate coolroom are also a feature of the house.
8 separate water storage dams are located on the property, which when all combined have a holding capacity of 455 megalitres of water. Another method of utilising existing infra-structure is being carried out, via the existing water storage dams. Thurla Farms is currently growing Murray Cod in our water storage dams. Eventually the venture will be producing around 1 million saleable fish per season, with fish sizes being one kilogram plus. Thurla Farms has been working on this venture now for approximately 10 years.
The entirety of Thurla Farms is Quality Assured and has been accredited with the “Woolworths Quality Assurance” certification, “SQF” certification and is also actively involved with all aspects of HACCP and WorkSafe. Thurla Farms has also recently received PrimeSafe accreditation for fish processing.
With the focus and concern on salinity and salinity management, Thurla has put a tree-planting program in place with over 10,000 trees already established and a further 20,000 trees to be planted.
Thurla Farms has continually set exceptional standards in operations, which has resulted in a variety of education departments approaching Col and Karyn for permission to bring students out to study how Thurla Farms operates.
Thurla Industrial Park has been strategically developed as a dedicated industrial precinct, providing industrial businesses the opportunity to be located within a non-urban location, minimising impacts to surrounding neighbours, but with the added bonus of being a short drive to other commercial and retail facilities, and residential accommodations ...more