Location: Myola feedlot, North Star NSW
One time capacity: 20,000 head
2022 cattle turnoff: 43,000 head, down from 53,000 head in 2021 and 58,000 in 2020
2015 position: 9
2003 position 8
WITH so many lot feeders expanding their operations in recent years, Myola has fallen 12 places since Beef Central last profiled the top 25 lot feeders in 2015.
Large Northern New South Wales processor Bindaree Food Group purchased the yard, near North Star in the state’s far north, in 2015 from the Mulligan family, who have a cropping operation in the area. The purchase, which happened shortly after Beef Central published its previous Top 25 Lotfeeders report in 2015, was Bindaree’s first and only investment in a ‘bricks and mortar feedlot’.
Bindaree owns all the cattle fed at Myola, with mixed 100-day programs for its own brands – including an Angus program, an HGP-free program and other programs. Prior to Bindaree purchasing the yard, Myola was one of the largest providers of custom-feeding services in NSW.
The annual turn-off has decreased since the 2015 list, with an increase in average days on feed. Under previous ownership, Myola had a custom-feeding contract with a national supermarket chain on short-fed 60-70 programs. That no longer exists, pushing average days on feed higher.
In the past three-to-four years, the company has moved all its cattle to 100-day programs, including heifers which used to be fed for 80-days. It also had a drop in throughput in 2021-22, with a surplus of grass making it hard to source cattle. Retaining China market access, as others have been suspended, has contributed to that.
Major expansion on the cards
While the feedlot has stayed the same size since the purchase, the company is planning a major expansion next year – which will take it to 35,000 head and push it a long way up Beef Central’s next Top 25 list.
Supply chain manager Georgia Birch said the expansion will allow the company to grow its operation.
“We are still keen to keep our existing custom-feeding relationships with cattle in other yards, and the expansion of Myola will be about giving us access to more grainfed slaughter cattle,” Ms Birch said.
“We have been one of the lucky ones to have held our China license in recent years and grainfed beef to China is still a key focus of the company.
“The company is well set up to capitalise on a lot of markets, with our abattoir in Inverell and the processing facility in Burleigh, on the Gold Coast, which allows us to value-add.”
Access to grain and processing
Myola is situated in the golden triangle of Northern NSW, with 95pc of its grain requirement coming from within 100km of the feedlot – aside from drought years. Most of the cottonseed comes from Moree about 80km away, while Myola’s surrounding farm grows all its own silage and most of its own hay.
The feedlot has always used steamflaking for grain processing and installed a Ferrell Ross 24” x 56” mill about 13-years-ago. The expansion of the yard next year will also involve an upgrade of the mill.
Myola has proivided shade across 100pc of its pens and has recently upgraded some of the original shade infrastructure.
About Bindaree Food Group
Bindaree Food Group is owned by two Australian families – the McDonald family who founded the company and the Hui family, who purchased a 51pc stake in 2017.
The company was founded in 1981 by the well-known John ‘JR’ McDonald, who passed away in 2021 after more than 60 years in the NSW meat processing industry. Bindaree has become one of Australia’s largest privately owned beef companies, employing 1100 people across the vertically integrated operation.
Management team and staff
Myola is managed by Jeff Dight, who will be chalking up his 25th anniversary at the feedlot this year. Mr Dight worked at the yard when it was first constructed in 1993 and after working in some other parts of the industry, he came back to Myola in 1998, where he has remained as manager.
The company’s supply chain manager is Georgia Birch, who is one of many women working with the feedlot. About half of Myola’s 30 staff are women.
Myola was constructed by a consortium of owners in 1993, a venture the Mulligan family were involved in. The Mulligans later bought out their partners and took sole ownership the feedlot in the late 90s.
Feeder cattle enquiries: Georgia Birch on 0412 567 005
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