Cattle throughput at the Dalby Regional Saleyards is expected to soar this year as Dalby Combined Agents’ Ashley Loveday said that he expects a long-sought desire to see the facility become fully EU accredited will reach fruition by mid-2017.
Mr Loveday said over the last two years there has been a big push by the combined agents to develop the EU side of the business.
“We’re now at the point where we’ll be meeting with the Western Downs Regional Council to discuss the process, and we’re expecting the saleyards will be fully EU accredited by July 1 this year,” Mr Loveday said.
He said the lack of EU accreditation has been a problem for years, for the Dalby facility (which is the second highest volume selling centre in the state) as not being accredited has led to constraints on the cattle that can be sold through the yards.
“As agents we can only see this as being a very positive development for our vendors, as it removes a significant barrier in their ability to sell their cattle through us at the Dalby Regional Saleyards,” he said.
“We’ll be able to offer more services for our clients, and will be able to sell cattle at Dalby which we previously couldn’t, we expect it’ll lead to a significant increase in the annual cattle turnoff for the facility.
Mr Loveday also said the $12.6m facelift for the saleyards is continuing to progress well, with several further upgrades on the cards for the near future.
The changes completed to date include new roofing, lighting, water facilities, soft flooring, pedestrian walkways, ramps, wash down bay and safety and compliance upgrades.
“We now have four air operated drafts operating at the facility, and we’re currently budgeting for an additional two drafts to be built.”
The new automated drafting facilities can handle 180-300 head per hour, while the upgraded facility now boasts 680 pens and capacity for about 8000 head of cattle.
The upgrades have improved the speed and efficiency cattle are able to safely move through the drafts.
“Once all the drafts have been constructed nobody will need to be in the laneways moving cattle, which will create a safer working environment.”
Technology features heavily, with modern cabling in the new roofing system, coupled with Wi-Fi capabilities.
He said a heavy vehicle washdown facility for livestock trucks and weed seed washes is also operational now and is run by Council.
“We’ve also completely upgraded the vehicle turning area which involved ripping up the old surface which was pretty worn and tattered and laying down new bitumen, which took about a month.
“We have an area designated for development near the old sheep yards that we’re planning to turn into a car parking area, and later this year we’ll be replacing one of the wooden loading ramps with a modern variant.
“We’re also budgeting for the possible construction of a stud selling ring, and an upgrade to the other double-decker ramp.”