Elders’ Killara Feedlot recognises top suppliers with annual awards

Elders’ Killara Feedlot held their second Annual Supplier of the Year Awards in Tamworth, recognising top performing cattle suppliers for 2017. Over 120 suppliers attended from across NSW attended the awards event which included an information day to demonstrate new systems set to benefit suppliers.

Cattle producers that supply to the feedlot are recognised across four key categories of excellence; growth, health, marbling and overall supplier of the year. The results are gathered through Killara Feedlot’s new IT system, which provides feedback and benchmarks more than 80,000 cattle annually.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Killara Feedlot Supplier Awards;

  • The Mid Fed Angus Steer ADG Award for Growth – B & K Hanigan Coonamble
  • The Mid Fed Angus Steer Health Award – Betrola Pastoral Co Coolah
  • The Mid Fed Angus Steer Marbling Award – Paraway Pastoral Co Burindi Barraba
  • The Mid Fed Angus steer Overall supplier of the year – Paraway Pastoral Co Burindi Barraba

Andrew Talbot, Killara Feedlot Trading Manager says the system is an important tool for management of the Feedlot to best understand how cattle are performing and in particular whose cattle are providing the best results for the feedlot.

“The new system tracks vendors, as well as individual animals and groups of cattle. The information gathered provides data on weight gain, feed conversion, health, market suitability, MSA, marbling and yield,” Mr Talbot said.

“The new benchmarking system provides a point of difference against many other feedlots, with combined MSA and abattoir data,” he said.

“Most producers appreciate feedback on their cattle and the new feedback and benchmarking system enables this, providing current and useful data the producer can use to better select genetics.

“For backgrounders of cattle, the feedback system allows suppliers to track back cattle to point of breeding to see how different groups of cattle have performed.

“We received lots of positive feedback from producers on the new system, so whilst it’s early days it’s fair to say its exceeded expectations so far.”

Using the information from the system, the Killara Feedlot Annual Supplier of the Year Awards focus on Angus steers fed for a 150 days, with all the steers being HGP free.

“This particular programme is now the largest of the five programmes run at Killara. The programme commenced in 2012 from a small base and has grown into our largest programme, delivering over 600 Angus steers per week.

“To run a data set for feedback and benchmarking, you get to see the performance gains made over the last few years.

“The results of the cattle were outstanding with Angus steers regularly exiting the feedlot around 650-700kg after 150 days on feed, the remarkable thing is most of the cattle are still only 20 months of age and under. That says a lot for the Angus breed and genetic improvements made in recent years,” Mr Talbot explained.

“This year we sourced almost all of our supply (55,000 cattle) straight from the paddock, with the assistance of the national Elders network. Supply from the paddock has lifted from 50% ten years ago, to 96% today. The best news is that these cattle have arrived in large lines from many repeat vendors.

“Relationships are everything, being able to secure the good lines of cattle, providing a competitive price that reflects how the cattle perform and identifying market signals and feedback to suppliers, we believe, are the pillars to a repeatable supplier base,” he said.

Killara Feedlot also launched its new bonus incentive programme for producers for pre-vaccinated cattle.

“Cattle producers who now pre-vaccinate their cattle with Bovillis MH + IBR receive an industry leading bonus which is both transparent and rewards those producers who are willing to work with Killara to better manage BRD in the feedlot,” Mr Talbot said.

This year’s awards were sponsored by Killara’s largest customer, Jack’s Creek, well-known throughout the beef industry for their accolades – including recently winning the prestigious World Steak Challenge for the second year in a row.