When an opportunity arose for Hamish and Mary McIntyre to acquire an established feedlot in their home shire of Balonne they jumped at the chance.
“We’d been talking about building a feedlot at our home block for some time but this was such a perfect opportunity because all the work had been done,” Mr McIntyre said.
“The property includes 900ha of irrigation so everyone was valuing the water rather than the feedlot.
“For us it’s all about integrating our business and value adding to the grain, beef and cottonseed we already produce.
“It costs us $70/tonne to get our grain to port so we think using it to value add to our cattle is a much better option.”
The McIntyre family purchased the licenced 3200-head feedlot on the 11,800ha Mooramanna in March last year.
The property also includes 6000ha of dryland cultivation and 900ha of irrigation and perfectly compliments the family’s two other mixed farming properties, Moolabah, St George and Cavillon, south of Dirranbandi.
With extra country leased and agisted in the area, the McIntyres run 2500 Angus breeders across the region.
They delivered their first load of steers to the Mooramanna Feedlot, 35km south of St George, on December 1 and hope to have the pens full by February.
With the help of their feedlot manager, Tom Brimblecombe, and agent, Anthony Hyland, GDL St George, Mr McIntyre has since been busy fine tuning the feedlot ration and exploring marketing opportunities.
Mr Hyland said Angus steers already in the feedlot had been contracted to Kilcoy for their Pacific Angus brand.
“They’ll spend 100 days on feed for that contract,” Mr Hyland said.
“We will look at other contract options like Woolworths as we go along and get the feedlot full.”
The McIntyres join for a spring calving and will this year trial the introduction of Wagyu genetics to the herd.
In a partnership with the AACo, they will join 700 maiden heifers to AACo bred Wagyu bulls.
The progeny will be sold back to AACo with the steers destined to go on-feed for the company's premium Wagyu beef brand.
The McIntyres have leased 10 Wagyu bulls from AACo and purchased another 10 bulls to kickstart the program.
“It’s no longer a boutique business and we felt it was worthwhile taking a look at it,” Mr McIntyre said.