Lotfeeding

Operations stats reveal a busy year at Grassdale feedlot

Beef Central, 18/12/2015
Grassdale manager Jordan Peach with backgroundr cattle near the feedlot

Grassdale manager Jordan Peach with backgroundr cattle near the feedlot

 

AS 2015 draws to a close many industry stakeholders are taking some time to reflect on the past year, achievements realised and the hard work that has contributed to the past year’s successes.

Typical is Darling Downs-based Mort & Co lotfeeders, operators of the recently-expanded Grassdale feedlot near Dalby.

Feedlot manager Jordan Peach (pictured above) who manages Grassdale, reflected on what it takes to run one of Australia’s largest and most modern feedyards.

In its recently completed expansion, Grassdale’s cattle numbers grow in capacity from 35,000 to 44,000 head. This calendar year alone, Grassdale’s livestock crew inducted more than 124,000 head of feeder cattle.

A large proportion of cattle at the facility are sent to designated paddock backgrounding prior to feedlot entry with Michael Craven (pictured below) and his faithful collies clocking up 4000km each year bringing cattle to and from the surrounding paddocks.

The feed and milling teams at Grassdale also had a busy year and collectively processed 110,000 tonnes of grain through the yard’s feedmills and after batching & mixing, delivered more than 210,000 tonnes of steam-flaked ration to cattle.

To keep a feedlot of the scale of Grassdale in ship-shape condition required the pen cleaning team to clean 882 feedlot pens and pilot 5500 truckloads of manure to be composted on-site each year.

In other interesting statistics, Mr Peach reported that the feedlot farrier put on 2500 horse shoes, the team cleaned 15,600 water troughs and 11,700 trucks passed over the feedlot’s weighbridge.

The team at Grassdale feedlot now comprises 75 personnel ranging in age from 15 to 65, and with cattle industry experience from 5 days to 50 years.

“The teams at Mort & Co’s three feedlots (Grassdale, plus Pinegrove and Gunnee – click here to view Beef Central’s recent Top 25 Lotfeeders entry) always rally together and really put in a lot of hard work,” Mr Peach said. “These statistics are a testament to how much is happening at Grassdale on a daily basis,” he said.

Looking forward to 2016, Mort & Co’s ‘appetite’ for feeder and backgrounder cattle will grow, as the company moves towards its objective of owning all of its cattle on feed. When the Graassdale yard was first commissioned in 2007, only a small percentage of cattle on feed were company-owned, with the majority custom fed. That has gradually changed to the point where 90pc of fed cattle are now under company ownership..

“In addition to purchasing cattle through traditional means, we’ll require more avenues to secure the numbers of cattle we need to keep our feedlots at capacity,” Mr Peach said.

“Backgrounding cattle for us is one option that may appeal to producers who have had some rain and are looking to get a return on their grass without the capital outlay and current risks associated with a softening global outlook for beef,” he said.

Michael Craven and his border collies clock up 4000km a year bringing cattle into the pens from surrounding backgrounding paddocks

Michael Craven and his border collies clock up 4000km a year bringing cattle into the pens from surrounding backgrounding paddocks

 

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