AN innovative flooring solution for high-traffic areas is helping Australia’s leading lotfeeders drive efficiency improvements and protect their margins.
Youngstar matting, designed and developed by NumatAGRI in tandem with feedlots and beef producers, has gained significant traction among industry leaders, with over 80 percent of Australian feedlots identified in Beef Central’s Top 25 Lot Feeders feature having adopted the product.
Feedlot operators who have integrated Youngstar mats into their facilities have cited careful consideration of investment in infrastructure to assure both animal welfare and productivity.
‘Function Over Form’
YoungStar mat’s design is unique: a square lugged pattern that improves traction and reduces the likelihood of cattle slipping in high traffic areas.
The feature directly addresses the concerns of feedlot operators who face serious challenges due to cattle slipping.
Abby Brooker, Induction Supervisor at NH Food’s Whyalla Beef Feedlot near Texas said: “Now that we have YoungStar matting, the injuries and slips have reduced due to the lugs doing the job and keeping our cattle safe.”
The mat’s high durability rating, markedly surpassing that of many competitors, indicates a longer lifespan, potentially diminishing the need for frequent replacements.
In the beef industry, anecdotal evidence must be supported by data.
Case studies, such as those from Rangers Valley and Opal Creek Feedlots, have begun to provide quantitative backing for the benefits of YoungStar mats.
Reports of mats lasting upwards of six years, even under the strain of countless millions of hooves, are compelling for feedlot operators considering the long-term economics of their flooring choices.
Ryan Smith, cattle processing manager at Rangers Valley Feedlot near Glen Innes, highlights this economic benefit.
“With the lifespan of the YoungStar rubber, it will easily pay for itself over the course of time.”
This return on investment, coupled with the design’s effectiveness in reducing cattle slipping and injuries, is a key reason why feedlot operators are choosing to install YoungStar mats.
Simplicity and Sanitation
The rectangular, one-piece construction of the Youngstar mat addresses another critical operational concern: ease of installation and cleaning.
In an environment where hygiene is paramount, the non-porous vulcanized rubber of these mats presents a clear advantage over other types that may harbour pathogens within interwoven strips.
Angus Lee, feedlot manager at Opal Creek Feedlot near Millmerran said installation “was pretty straightforward.”
“It was easier to adapt the YoungStar rubber matting into our current facilities.”
The development of the YoungStar mat range has been a collaborative journey.
NumatAGRI, the company that designed the mat, works in tandem with lotfeeders and beef producers, engaging in a dialogue to understand the day-to-day challenges faced by the industry. This partnership approach allows for a real-world perspective to inform the R&D process, ensuring that the solutions devised are not just theoretically sound but practically viable.
The YoungStar Crush Mat
A prime example of NumatAGRI’s responsive innovation is the YoungStar crush mat.
Building on the attributes of the acclaimed YoungStar 32mm mat, this new product has been tailored to the dimensions and demands of the standard cattle crush.
The durable mat boasts the same unique high-grip, free-draining design integral to the original mat, now optimized for one of the most intense environments in cattle handling.
With a significant portion of the industry’s major players opting for Youngstar mats, it’s clear that this choice is grounded in a pursuit of operational efficiency and animal welfare. As we look to the future of cattle feedlots in Australia, it is innovations like these that will likely shape the next generation of agricultural practices.
For those in the industry or with an interest in agricultural innovation, further details on the practical applications and benefits of YoungStar matting can be found through case studies and testimonials on the Numat Agricultural website.