Opportunity feedlot offers flexibility
Location: Clermont, QLD View Map
Enterprise: Beef cattle and cultivation
Producer: Peter and Julia Anderson
Soil type: Black soil
Pasture type: Open downs country, brigalow and gidgee scrub, buffel grass
Since setting up a feedlot in 1993 to assist through the drought, the Anderson family's opportunity feedlot has grown to become a whole property management tool.
The Andersons turn-off 600-800 head of feedlot cattle a year and cultivate 1,295ha.
Due to the dry conditions in the 1990s, they wanted to get cattle off the country and be able to fatten and sell them during the drought.
They started off very basic, buying in grain and investing in a second-hand mixer and a couple of feed bins.
From then the business has began to grow. In 1995, the Andersons began building silos and over time have expanded their feedlot operation significantly.
They mix their own feedlot ration from grain grown mostly on their property and are now AUS-MEAT accredited.
The feedlot is used when they can make a profit from it. Before Peter puts cattle in the feedlot he needs to see at least $60-80 a head profit.
Peter says although it is hard to measure, since feedlotting and spelling his pastures, he has seen reduced effects on pastures from grazing pressure.
Having the feedlot allows the Andersons flexibility. For example the next year's steers and cull weaner heifers can be placed in the feedlot instead of fattening them on grass. It also allows animals to be kept during the drought reducing the impact on the property.
The Andersons experience very little health issues in the feedlot and don't have to pressure cattle as they can easily be placed back in the paddock if any stress occurs.
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