Australia’s largest privately owned cattle lot feeder, Mort & Co, has announced its entry into the Australian stockfeeds market with the launch of its new division, Mort & Co Stockfeeds.
In a media release issued late last week the company confirmed it has lodged a Material Change of Use (MCU) with Toowoomba Regional Council, to construct a $20M stockfeeds complex at Australia’s largest and most modern feedlot, Grassdale Feedlot, located near Dalby, Queensland.
Stephen O’Brien, CEO of Mort & Co, said the plans included the construction of a cottonseed oil plant, supplementary to the site’s existing cottonseed dehulling infrastructure, which integrates into a novel pelletisation and supplement block plant.
At capacity, it is expected the new venture would employ in excess of 20 full-time equivalent staff.
“Mort & Co’s 6 year strategy is to double the size of the company and for 20 percent of gross margin to be derived from businesses that are aligned & complimentary,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Mort & Co Stockfeeds is strategically aligned with our core lot feeding and meat businesses’ growth plans, whilst also continuing to grow local jobs, back regional communities and support Australian livestock and grain producers.
“The economic impact modelling for the Mort & Co Stockfeeds project suggests the construction will support 89 local jobs and 189 positions nationally, as well as a $35M economic impact locally, which is great news for regional Queensland”.
The company’s stockfeeds investment will add value to the existing feedlot operations through further processing of the cottonseed meats, already produced on site.
This process will allow Mort & Co to utilise cottonseed oil and de-oiled cottonseed meats as independent components.
The oil will be sold externally or used in feedlot rations, while, the de-oiled cottonseed meats has varied applications in feedlot rations, ruminant stockfeeds and the manufacture of protein blocks.
Mort & Co Stockfeeds Feed Supplementation manager, Cameron Best (right) said the plant will unlock the ability to economically transport pellets large distances, as far away as the Kimberly region.
“These can then be mixed with local low value hay supplies to formulate the best financial and metabolic result”.
Mr Best was also buoyed by the fact that Mort & Co’s new lick blocks were a solution to improving animal performance and supporting graziers who annually face the challenge of deficiencies associated with grazing production.
Founder and Executive Chairman, Charlie Mort was excited by the opportunities the investment unlocked for graziers, saying, “industry trends suggest that livestock prices will remain at higher levels in the future, thus creating an environment similar to the US whereby the cost of gain equation incentivises producers to supplementary feed young stock, whilst also promoting the improvement of conception and weaning rates”.
“We look forward to building a close relationship with a wide variety of producers and pastoral companies in Eastern and Northern Australia, to help provide them with transparency to growing conditions, tools to better predict animal performance, and a range of products that will help improve the quality of their livestock (including higher MSA and marble scores) and subsequently their margins.
“We are also confident that our products and services will assist forward thinking producers to be at the forefront of the move towards sustainability and the reduction of carbon emissions”. Mort & Co continues to explore opportunities in addition to its core offering, in line with the company’s ongoing strategic growth plans.”
Product sales from Mort & Co Stockfeeds Grassdale facility are anticipated to commence in early 2022.
Source: Mort & Co