For the first time, Hale Brothers Farm is available for purchase in the highly desired Columbia River Basin. Bob and Rick Hale, two brothers who are well-known in the West’s agricultural community, began their operations here over 40 years ago and grew their enterprise into what became, at its peak, one of the Columbia Basin’s largest vegetable producers annually growing over one billion pounds of vegetables as well as one of the largest growers, packers, and fresh-cut processors of onions in the world. These 980± acres being offered for sale are among the last of the brothers’ farmland holdings and represent the legacy of their commercial and agricultural accomplishments. Ideal for the owner/operator and farmland investor alike, Hale Brothers Farm is an unparalleled opportunity in today’s tightly held Columbia Basin real estate market, where quality operating properties are rarely offered to the public, to acquire an extremely productive farm with substantial upside potential.
Hale Brothers Farm is located on State Highway 207 less than 15 miles south of Hermiston and Interstate 84 in the heart of the Columbia Basin. This region is home to the most coveted farmland in the United States, featuring a stable water source from the Columbia River, a long growing season, and ideal seasonal temperatures with hot days and cool nights. Extensive agricultural infrastructure coupled with near perfect growing conditions enable high-valued crops to be grown here that support a consistently strong regional economy and attract investment capital from around the world.
This year for the first time, the property received irrigation water from the Columbia River through a newly installed water delivery system tied to the Columbia Improvement District (CID). Connecting the property to the river through CID infrastructure was no small undertaking and required years of planning and a significant capital investment from the owners to accomplish. Water from CID supports and supplements existing surface water rights from Butter Creek (which flows north through the property) and groundwater rights from two irrigation wells. In addition to ensuring a full duty of irrigation water during the growing season, water from CID allows for irrigation during spring and winter months to assist in building up the farm’s soil moisture profile ahead of the next growing season. The significance of linking to CID cannot be overstated, as the additional water safeguards the farm during dry years and enables an operator to diversify and raise an expanded number of crops.
Of the farm’s 980± acres, approximately 867 acres are tillable with 760± acres currently under sprinkler irrigation, including 50± acres under a center pivot installed in 2020. In 2006, the owners planted 50± acres of Duke variety blueberries using a drip irrigation system. These were the first blueberries to be grown in the area and continue to provide an excellent return on investment for the owners. The remaining cropland is seeded to wheat, alfalfa, and grass hay. The 2021 irrigated wheat crop averaged 160 bushels per acre, while the alfalfa hay has a historic yield of approximately eight tons per acre. With the additional water from CID, an operator has the option to raise a variety of other crops, such as corn seed, grass seed, peas, snap peas, and, with the conversion to drip irrigation, even melons and root crops.
Soils on the property are excellent with the majority comprised of deep silt loam with an estimated water holding capacity of three inches per cubic foot. Most of the tillable land is made up of powder silt loam (0-3 percent slopes), while approximately 50 acres consist of Shano very fine sandy loam (2 to 7 percent slopes).
Building improvements are modest but practical and are well-suited for farm employees or tenants. These include the original house (and also one of the area’s earliest homesteads) situated in the main farm compound, a second home located toward the south end of the farm, and a shop building with living quarters located on an elevated bench along the west boundary of the property. There are also several open-sided storage buildings located in the main compound and adjacent to the second residence.
Co-listed with Caleb Howard of LandLeader/Land and Wildlife.
Just the Facts
- Premier Columbia Basin irrigated farm
- 980± total acres with 867± cropland acres
- 760± acres under sprinkler irrigation
- 50± acres under a new center pivot
- 50± acres of Duke variety blueberries under drip irrigation
- Multiple layers of irrigation water from the Columbia River, Butter Creek, and two wells
- Updated and well-maintained irrigation equipment and infrastructure
- Powder silt loam (0-3 percent slopes) across the majority of cropland acres
- Building improvements include two homes, shop with living quarters, and multiple outbuildings
- Less than 15 miles from Hermiston via paved Highway 207
- 50 miles from the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, WA servicing multiple airlines
- Annual property taxes are approximately $14,500
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