When Perth-based live export company Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) bought Narrogin Beef Producers it was a chance to set up an export depot in the south of the State.
Instead of running a fattening program for cattle, where cattle are on feed for between 60 and 90 days, the exporter is using the 10,000-head capacity facility to background export cattle.
LSS spokesman Scott Jewell said it meant cattle would be there for 10 to 12 days, depending on export protocols.
In the past, the feedlot was plagued by odour issues but Mr Jewell said diet would play a big role in reducing the problem. “Instead of being fed grain, cattle coming into the feedlot will be on hay and pellet rations which will help to reduce odour,” he said.
The number of cattle in the feedlot will also help keep odour issues in check. Although the feedlot capacity is 10,000 head, licence conditions allow only 6000.
The first consignment of cattle at the feedlot in November was even less – 5000 head.
They were fed about 10 tonnes of hay and 40 tonnes of pellets a day.
Having fewer cattle at the feedlot also means they will be penned lighter.
“We are also cleaning the pens regularly and the muck will be composted and then used to help fertilise paddocks around the feedlot,” Mr Jewell said.
The Narrogin facility is the second feedlot for the exporter.
The first, in Mundijong, has a capacity of 5000 head.
Mr Jewell said having two feedlots gave extra capacity and also meant they had full control over the cattle and their diet.
It also created a market opportunity for southern cattle producers wanting to tap into other markets apart from just supplying domestic processors.
LSS’ main export markets are in the Middle East.
It’s parent company, Hijazi and Ghosheh Group, based in Jordan, supplies markets in Turkey, Israel, Libya and Egypt.