Prime 25 Lotfeeders: No. 24 North Australian Pastoral Co, Wainui

Places (1): Wainui feedlot, Bowenville QLD

One time capability: 14,145 SCU, presently feeding 18,268 head

2022 cattle turnoff: 58,000 head

2015 Prime 25 place: 14  2003 place 19 (7200 head).


The North Australian Pastoral Co’s Wainui feedlot on Queensland’s Darling Downs is a part of a vertically built-in grainfed beef enterprise, with 90 p.c of feeder cattle being sourced out of the corporate’s personal huge breeding and backgrounding properties additional north.

On the time this merchandise was compiled, the yard had 18,268 feeders on its stock.

About half of the yard’s capability is made up of 100-day sort cattle, producing +350kg grainfed carcases bought to JBS, along with about 25pc of cattle fed for round 120 days for NAPCo’s personal 5 Founders branded beef program (particulars under). The rest are yearling steers and heifers fed for a 70-day Woolworths grocery store contract (20pc), and a small ‘midfed’ program for grocery store use (5pc).

In essence, the kind of cattle fed and market segments has modified little over the previous decade.

A small portion of the yard was once dedicated to customized feeding, however that service was wound-up some years again.

The corporate’s 5 Founders program, primarily based on NAPCo’s Kynuna and  Alexandria composites (particulars under) usually sees 60-70pc of carcases producing a marbling rating 2+.

NAPCo was but to launch its personal branded beef program when this function was final compiled in 2015. 5 Founders was launched in 2019 with 3000 head, however this system has grown considerably, anticipating to account for 15,000 head in 2023.

The yard’s working capability has not modified since our earlier 2015 report (14,500SCU), nonetheless the chance exists for some growth and NAPCo is presently contemplating its choices.

That will contain submitting a proper Improvement Software, however could be dictated, to some extent, by doable herd measurement modifications inside NAPCo’s northern breeding operations, Beef Central was instructed.

NAPCo’s Wainui feedlot

Generally phrases, NAPCo prefers to not promote completed cattle off grass out of the paddock, as an alternative constructing its manufacturing mannequin round grain ending all applicable steers and surplus heifers by way of Wainui. The corporate’s 190,000 head cattle herd produces round 60,000 calves per yr, used both as feeders or breeder replacements.

Calves are bred both on NAPCo’s Barkly properties like Alexandria and Mittiebah, or Gulf properties like Boomarrra and Coolullah, earlier than both being despatched for a rising interval on the corporate’s 4  Channel Nation properties, or the Central Queensland backgrounding buffel grass properties Cungelella, Goldsborough and Mantuan Downs, earlier than arriving on the feedlot.

Small numbers of purchased cattle are procured to keep up Wainui at capability, or to fulfil home provide contracts.

NAPCo was the primary of Australia’s massive pastoral firms to embrace composite breeding – a considerably controversial transfer when it began within the late Nineteen Eighties. All different massive northern operators on the time have been both straight Brahman or Santa cattle.

The corporate’s Kynuna and Alexandria composites have stood the take a look at of time, offering a robust stability between fertility, adaptation and meat high quality. Wainui’s yearling cattle offered for MSA grading produce a mean MSA index rating of round 60 – considerably higher than the typical for all non-implanted Queensland grainfed yearlings final yr.


One of many ‘luxuries’ loved by NAPCo’s Wainui yard is consistency of efficiency.

All of the cattle fed include very comparable genetic make-up; they’re drafted into very massive, even strains and weights earlier than induction; and they aren’t co-mingled with strangers from quite a few completely different herds. It means the feedlot enjoys wonderful respiratory efficiency, and really low pull charges, by business requirements.

On the meat finish, carcases are remarkably constant in weight, end and marbling efficiency, and this has turn into a trademark of the corporate’s 5 Founders model program.

NAPCo has its 5 Founders service kill carried out at Northern Cooperative Meat Co, On line casino.

Methane inhibition

Given the latest broader group curiosity within the beef business’s environmental footprint, maybe one of many extra important developments at Wainui has been the graduation early this yr of a program utilizing the methane-reducing feed additive, Bovaer as a ration inclusion – suppressing the enzyme that triggers methane manufacturing in an animal’s abdomen, and decreasing methane manufacturing by as much as 90% with no impression on every day acquire and feed conversion ratios.

NAPCo’s 5 Founders model program is Australia’s first licensed carbon-neutral beef model.  Shopping for offsets was the primary a part of that course of, however it’s more and more being changed by insetting by way of tasks just like the introduction of Bovaer.

The long term goal is to turn into internet zero for carbon.

Feedlot supervisor Jeremy Sloss has labored his manner by way of the ranks at Wainui, initially within the feed milling workforce and as feedmill supervisor. He was appointed feedlot supervisor six months in the past. Jeremy matches the final pattern we’re seeing on this function in remarkably younger age amongst yard managers, being simply 32 years outdated.

Lengthy historical past

Lotfeeding at Wainui could be traced again to the earliest origins of the feedlot business in Australia.

As this picture exhibits, the yard was feeding cattle as early as 1957, utilizing crude sawn timber bunks, and feeding speary-horned Shorthorn bullocks out of former proprietor, Australian Estates’ (later CSR’s) in depth northern breeding properties. Learn extra about Wainui’s early historical past in ALFA’s feedlot historical past e book, “Grainfed: The historical past of the Australian Lotfeeding business.”

Lotfeeding at NAPCo's Wainui feedlot near Bowenville, circa 1957

NAPCo’s buy of Wainui in 1985 was major as a drought mitigation software, but it surely wasn’t lengthy earlier than the worth of offering a dependable ending system so as to add weight and constant high quality to cattle year-round grew to become obvious. By about 1991, the feedlot was fully-integrated into the corporate’s provide chain mannequin.

Since then, Wainui has been developed into one in every of Australia’s most fashionable and environment friendly feedlots.

Current investments in infrastructure on the yard embrace shade provision, with 100% of pens now supplied with shade.

The yard grew from its preliminary measurement of 3500 head to 7200 head in 1996. In 2012, the location underwent one other main growth and redevelopment, doubling in capability once more from 7200 to 14,240 SCU.

Steamflaking/milling capability was doubled on the similar time, with the set up of two massive R&R mills, and related milling and commodity infrastructure. On a white grains foundation, Wainui’s present milling capability is nicely above the yard’s present constructed capability for cattle.

The Wainui aggregation features a 5000ha dryland and irrigated farming enterprise surrounding the feedlot, contributing to grain, silage and hay necessities.


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Function proudly offered by Zoetis Australia and its merchandise, BOVI-SHIELD MH-ONE, RHINOGARD and SYNOVEX


Monday: No 23, Wambo feedlot