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AgCap leases cropping land from Westchester

The land will be managed by the same team that handles similar land in the same part of Victoria, Australia for AgCAP, investment manager of the Sustainable Agriculture Fund.

AgCap, the investment management firm of the A$150 million ($139 million; €101 million) Sustainable Agriculture Fund (SAF), has leased 4,200 hectares of cropping land from Westchester, the agricultural asset management company.

The three-year lease is for land near Lake Bolac in Victoria, Australia and will complement similarly held land in SAF’s portfolio, according to John McKillop, managing director of AgCap.

“We will be growing wheat, barley and canola on the land leased from them, which is the same as we do on the country owned by SAF nearby,” he told Agri Investor.

“The same management will cover all of the properties so we are able to scale up quickly through the use of contractors for planting, spraying and harvesting. We have not off-loaded any properties in this aggregation and do not intend to do so, as this region has some of the highest crop yields in Australia.”

Westchester has more than $2 billion of assets under management over 40 states in three countries, according to its website. It was majority acquired by TIAA-CREF, the pension provider and financial services firm, in September 2010.

“This is a good example of two large corporate investors working together to fulfill their strategies,” added McKillop.

AgCap also manages $350 million for Cubbie Station, Australia’s largest cotton grower.