Chinchilla couple’s bold investment in pork infrastructure

Chinchilla couple build new pig grower shed despite price crisis


Col and Marcia Davis, Wamba, Hopeland, inside their new grower shed.

Col and Marcia Davis, Wamba, Hopeland, inside their new grower shed.

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The pork industry is in the midst of a pricing crisis so why did this couple just install a new grower shed?

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WITH the pork industry in the midst of a pricing crisis you would be forgiven for wondering why Hopeland producers Col and Marcia Davis would build a brand new grower facility on their property. 

But the pair believe the industry will eventually bounce back and they want to be right there with it.

The final touches are being made to the shed on their 1050 hectare property, Wamba, which also includes cropping and a 1550 head beef feedlot. 

While their 350 PIC genetic breeders were always kept at Wamba, their growers were sent to Kingaroy where they were prepared for kill. 

A pig inside their new grower shed.

A pig inside their new grower shed.

But after it was announced the grower facility would close from June 30 Mr and Mrs Davis had to find another alternative on farm.

The shed features fully automatic feeding facilities connected to silos outside and is currently holding more than 1000 pigs. It is expected to reach 2200 pigs once fully operational. 

The sorting facilities are much like sheep with pigs penned based on weight. Their pigs are then sent to Swickers to be killed before being packaged in Ipswich. 

Mr Davis said they were currently getting $2.70/kg for their pigs which was below cost of production by 20 to 30c.

“You’ve got to stay with the bad,” he said. 

“There has been a big influx of imported meat because they have got around it by being able to cook it now and bring it in that way.

“You have just got to be hopeful the winter might get more people to eat pork and people eat Australian pork not imported pork.”

The shed features automatic feeders.

The shed features automatic feeders.

The flood of imported cooked cuts include ribs and bellies with the total cost to industry of the cheap meat about $80 million.

While imported cuts have been evident for the past two years, now the meat can be stored out of refrigeration for long periods.

As happy as a pig in mud!

As happy as a pig in mud!

Ms Davis said consumer education was important as many people believed cooking pork was too difficult. 

“Some people bork at pork,” she said.

“But as I say to them, you just cook it like steak.” 

Pork prices aren’t the only challenge the couple face. The couple are in negotiation with Arrow Energy to have one of their bores, which is blowing gas, fixed. 

Col Davis and the bore blowing gas.

Col Davis and the bore blowing gas.

The affected bore is used to supply their piggery and feedlot with water and is on an Arrow Energy gas tenement.

When the problem occurred last year they were left with just a few weeks worth of water to rely on from their dams. 

Not wanting to be in the same position they have begun digging a new bore at their own cost and hope Arrow Energy will soon provide some support. 

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