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Te Pari Feedlot and Auto Handler

Feedlot automation has been identified as research priority by the Australian feedlot industry.

Project start date: 19 December 2021
Project end date: 14 December 2021
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle
Relevant regions: National, Cold wet, Dry, Mediterranean, Sub-tropical sub-humid, Temperate, Temperate sub-humid

Summary

This project engaged Te Pari Products Ltd. to develop a feedlot auto-handler for the feedlot induction process. The design of the prototype was determined during the first phase of the project to include features including autocatch, auto backlining and auto injection. The prototype was constructed and installed in a New Zealand feedlot for pilot testing of operability and initial testing of its value proposition. The prototype will be shipped to Australia in early 2022 for further evaluation of its value proposition in Australian feedlots.

Objectives

(1) Develop an induction automation prototype.
(2) Determine the value proposition (cost benefit analysis) of the prototype for feedlots.
(3) Ship the prototype to Australia for future evaluation by lot-feeders.

Key findings

The prototype was successfully constructed and piloted:
- The auto-catch and auto-backlining features were successfully developed.
- Further work is required to refine the auto-injection prototype.
- Minor refinements to sequencing of tasks is required prior to shipping the prototype to Australia for commercial demonstration in 2022.

Benefits to industry

It is envisaged that the prototype will lead to improvements in medicament delivery accuracy (inventory shrink savings) and improved worker/animal occupational health and safety.

MLA action

MLA will present the results of this project to:
- Australian Lot Feeders' Association Feedlot Automation webinar - November 2021
- Australian Lot Feeders' Association R&D Committee meeting - November 2021

Future research

MLA plans to commercially demonstrate the prototype in 2022 at an Australian feedlot. A detailed evaluation of the value proposition of the technology versus conventional manual operation will occur.

More information

Project manager: Joe McMeniman
Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: Te Pari Products Limited