Vertically-integrated Queensland beef supply chain Stanbroke has received verbal approval to expand its feedlot on the Darling Downs to a capacity of 40,000 Standard Cattle Units.
But Stanbroke has not yet given any indication that it intends to begin construction at the site, and may simply elect to hold the expansion option for future use, as industry circumstances change.
Stanbroke lodged an application for expansion with the Greater Downs Regional Council about six months ago, Beef Central understands. The company chose not to comment today on the development application, saying it had only received verbal approval from council at this stage.
If the project goes ahead, however, it would add to recent momentum in feedlot expansion being seen across eastern and southern Australia, as outlined in this recent Beef Central article.
Stanbroke has in recent years diversified its grainfed operations to include a large Wagyu program, and one theory is that the expansion approval at the feedlot may be designed to compensate for the negative impact on feedlot stock turnover that feeding Wagyu for an average 400 days can have on a grainfed business.
The Western Downs Regional Council issued a brief press statement last week, flagging the project’s approval. The council approval means Stanbroke may now expand the site’s existing built capacity of 25,000 Standard Cattle Units by 60 percent, or 15,000 head, to 40,000 SCU, it said.
The Stanbroke feedyard near Chinchilla, formerly known as Bottletree, was built to a working capacity of 10,000 head by its original owners in 1994, but expanded over time to its current licensed capacity of 25,000 head. Milling, commodities, silage storage and other infrastructure was all originally designed with expansion in mind.
If Stanbroke’s expansion project goes ahead, it would add a further 15 new local jobs, the Western Downs Regional Council statement said.
“The modern new facility’s design has been assessed to meet rigorous environmental standards designed to minimise impacts to the surrounding environment,” WDRC said.
Conditions relating to road access were included in the approval to address community concerns.
“The benefits of the Stanbroke expansion will be far reaching, beyond the creation of 15 local jobs. Developments like this support and value-add to the local supply chain with everything from feed to transport,” a council spokesman said.
Last year, changes in Queensland’s environmental licensing arrangements made it possible for feedlots seeking to expand to use odour modelling, as opposed to the feedlot guidelines, to show that a grainfed business could operate effectively, without impacting on the surrounding community. Kerwee feedlot near Jondaryan was the first Queensland feedyard to gain such expansion approval, but others soon followed.
- Read Beef Central’s earlier Top 25 Lotfeeders profile on Stanbroke here.