Located at the upper end of the Moxee Valley in Yakima County, WA, this diverse, irrigated asset totals 2,260 acres m/l and consists of permanent crops with a variety of apples and cherries, as well as modern, center-pivot row crop ground - suitable for potatoes, onions, sweet corn, alfalfa, timothy hay, and dozens of others. With an approximate elevation range between 1,750 feet and 2,150 feet, the property has been well planned and meticulously developed including two on-site controlled atmosphere storage facilities, 34 wind machines, as well as senior water rights (first in time, first in right), and is serviced by a network of six deep wells with interconnected main lines.
The Blackrock Property offers incredible diversity and opportunity. Of the approximately 533 acres m/l in permanent crops, 52% of the apples and cherries are currently USDA Certified Organic while an additional 40% of these crops are in the organic transitional stage and will be certified in 2019 and 2020. The property also consists of approximately 805 acres m/l planted to row crops under 9 center pivots capable of irrigating 817 acres m/l. With water rights for 1,900 acres, approximately 470 acres m/l remain open and suitable for additional tree fruit, hops, and/or wine grape development.
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Please refer to the Offering Memorandum in the Attachments section below for full property details and maps.
- Approximately 533 acres m/l in permanent crops
- Approximately 805 acres m/l in row crops
- Approximately 470 acres m/l are idle/open with permanent crop development potential
- Six deep wells pumping from basalt formation aquifers
- Water rights for irrigation of 1,900 acres
- Nine center pivots irrigating 817 acres m/l of row crops
- Approximately 85 acres m/l of reel line irrigation
- Two modern, computer monitored Controlled Atmosphere Storage Buildings on site with 1,900 bin and 2,000 bin holding capacities per room (total holding capacity of 23,400 bins)
- 34 wind machines
- Three separate laborer quarters/homes
Optimal elevations, favorable slope and aspect of hillsides, excellent soils, and abundant water rights make this property a tremendous permanent crop asset.
Approximately 52% of the apples and cherries are currently USDA Certified Organic. An additional 40% of the apples and cherries are in the organic transitional stage and will be certified in 2019 and 2020. This provides an established, yet niche opportunity in an ever-expanding global market where demand remains high and continues to grow.
On-site, modern, controlled atmosphere storage coupled with immediate access to efficient travel corridors and outlets to major markets is a distinct benefit of the property.
A variety of apples (including Golden, Red, Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, and Granny) and cherries (including Skeena and Sweetheart) are currently planted on the property. The majority of these crops are on highly dwarfing rootstock with high density, seven-wire, vertical trellis systems with one to three leaders per tree post.
Water & Irrigation
The property is being sold with water rights for irrigation of 1,900 acres, along with six irrigation wells which pump from basalt formation aquifers.
The Wanapum Formation aquifer is located between 500 and 1,500 feet below ground, and supplies two of the water rights, Nos. CG4-01330C and G4-25540C. These rights are documented for a total of 2,748 gallons per minute (gpm) -- 2,916 acre-feet per year (ac-ft/yr) for irrigation of 1,000 acres.
The Grande Ronde aquifer, located immediately below the Wanapum aquifer, supplies water rights for 5,228 gpm -- 3,800 ac-ft/yr for irrigation of an additional 900 acres. The water rights are authorized by No. CG4-26162(A)P@2.
The irrigation water rights being conveyed with the property, in total, are documented for 7,976 gpm -- 6,716 ac-ft/yr for irrigation of 1,900 acres.
The controlled atmosphere storage buildings located on the property are supplied water from a dedicated source well which is six inches in diameter and 830 feet deep. The shop and office facilities are also supplied by a dedicated source well which is six inches in diameter and 656 feet deep.
Controlled Atmosphere Storage Buildings
The property includes two controlled atmosphere (CA) storage buildings in great condition. Both CA buildings are high-tech, computer monitored, and precisely controlled.
These modern storage buildings combine cold refrigeration with a reduction in oxygen and ethylene scrubbers to effectively put apples "to sleep" for up to 11 months.
There is a drive-through drencher system conveniently located near the center of the orchard complex, north of the CA buildings. The drencher efficiently washes dust and leaves off apples prior to storage, as well as acts as a hydrocooler for cherries, immediately pulling field heat from the crop prior to transport.
CA Storage Building Details:
- Outer dimensions are approximately 164 feet by 130 feet by 31 feet.
- East building consists of six storage rooms (each with 9.5 ft by 12 ft doors), single wall construction, and has a holding capacity of 1,900 bins per room
- West building consists of six storage rooms (each with 9.5 ft by 12 ft doors), double wall construction, and has a holding capacity of 2,000 bins per room
The soils on the property are exceptional in several ways:
1) More than 80% of the soils have silt loam textures throughout the depth of rooting. The silt loam texture class has the highest available water-holding capacity of any soil texture class, and therefore, the water use efficiency and soil resiliency to drought stress are very high.
2) Almost 67% of the property has soils that are greater than 60 inches deep with no root-restricting layers or bedrock. In addition, approximately 20% of the balance of the property consists of Willis soils, which still have roughly 30 inches of rooting depth to a hardpan and the rooting zone again has the highly favored silt loam texture mentioned above.
3) All of the soils on the property are developed from freshly crushed granitic minerals and exist in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem. Thus, inorganic nutrients are in abundant supply, the root environment is rich in available calcium, and the content of humus and organic nitrogen is low to moderate. All of these features are outstanding for the production of permanent crops under drip irrigation because plant health is promoted by high availability of inorganic elements, but vigor of the crops and ripening of fruit can be controlled by carefully tailored applications of nitrogen and water throughout the growing season.
The elevation of the property ranges between an approximate low of 1,750 feet and a high of 2,150 feet. The vast majority of the existing permanent crop plantings lie above 1,860 feet which minimizes the impact of winter cold weather events.
Approximately 80% of the property consists of highly farmable, gentle to moderate slopes of less than 12% grade. In addition, approximately 9% consists of very farmable slopes with a 12% to 18% grade. Finally, only slightly more than 11% of the property consists of slopes with an 18% grade or higher.
The rolling topography of the asset translates to a variety of slope aspects:
- Approximately 60% of the property consists of highly favored slopes facing southeast, south, and southwest.
- Slopes facing northeast, north, and northwest make up approximately 28% of the property.
- East and west facing slopes comprise approximately 13% of the property.
Since acquisition, the owner has developed tremendous wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities on this unique property. Careful management of grazing coupled with improvements of water sources and distribution have led to a substantial increase in game and non-game species.
Doves, Hungarian partridge, chukar, and quail are all well established and have huntable populations throughout the property. Ample cover allows for outstanding upland bird hunting if you have experienced canine partners. There is also an opportunity to establish pheasant with released birds as plenty of food, cover, and water is available.
Big game opportunities, particularly for elk, are excellent. The property is situated adjacent to the Yakima Firing Range (managed by the US Army) and the Arid Land Ecology (ALE) unit (managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service). Hunting is extremely limited on the firing range, and there is no hunting on the vast ALE, so the elk population has exploded in the past 25 years and continues to expand. The owner has an agreement with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) allowing a number of landowner depredation tags for both bulls and cows. Further, the property permits WDFW to award through its annual big game tag lottery system, a youth hunt and general hunt tags for the public. This property has traditionally yielded a 75% success rate when hunting elk, as opposed to the statewide elk hunting success rate of approximately 7% in the general session and 25% for special permits.
In addition to elk, there are native mule deer - several very large, heavy bucks have been taken over the years. The circle pivot rotation ground has been dominated with timothy hay, alfalfa hay, winter triticale (cut for haylage), and silage corn. These irrigated crops have proven to be extremely attractive to big game in this eight-inch native rainfall zone.
From the intersection of Interstate 82 and Highway 24 in Yakima, travel east on Highway 24 approximately 20.8 miles. The property is located along the north side and south side of Highway 24.
Use the Interactive Map to explore the property's regional location. Zoom in and out to see the property's surroundings and toggle various mapping layers on and off in the Map Layer Menu.
Click the “play” button below to watch an aerial drone video of this property.