For Duaringa Station Grazing Co., detailed records on individual animals are a must.
The Donovan family has run the integrated cropping, commercial beef breeding, backgrounding and feedlotting business for decades, with Bruce and Beryl Donovan taking over in the 1960s.
The operation is spread across three properties in Central Queensland: a property at Gogango runs up to 1100 Droughtmaster breeders, with a backgrounding property north of Dingo, while Duaringa Station Feedlot is between the two.
Sarah Donovan manages the feedlot her parents Bruce and Beryl set up in the late 1990s.
“Duaringa Station is about 3240 hectares of cultivation, or cropping country; 1620ha of tableland country and a 3000-head feedlot,” she said.
“We produce a variety of coarse grains – wheat, sorghum, corn – and well as pulses, cotton and silage.
“The feedlot was never part of the original plan for Duaringa Station, but when sorghum prices went below $100 a tonne, it pushed my parents to diversify.”
The accredited feedlot has a capacity of 3000 Standard Cattle Units, and custom feeding now represents, on average, half of their feedlotting operation.
“It’s our intention to grow enough grain to supply the feedlot, but being a dryland farming operation, the weather really does dictate whether we need to buy in more grain or not.”
Accredited feedlots must record the treatments each animal has received, including the dosage and their withholding periods.
“Administering the correct dosage of each treatment is made far easier by being able to use accurate weights,” Sarah said. This, in turn, saves us money and allows the treatment to work well.”
“A Gallagher W810 has proven to be a very reliable, durable and highly transportable system, which has allowed us to successfully weigh and draft cattle across our three properties — including our feedlot.
“But after many years of use, we finally needed to replace our W810 towards the end of last year. We didn’t really consider looking outside the Gallagher product range, because we were already so pleased with the W810’s performance and longevity. We saw the Gallagher TW-3, which looked really good.”
The Gallagher TW-3 Weigh Scale and Data Collector is an advanced electronic identification-compatible weigh scale and data collector. Simple to operate, it’s a touchscreen weigh scale with the extra functionality of life data and trait recording.
“We were immediately impressed with the TW-3 because it not only has the existing functions of the W810, but it has built-in wifi and bluetooth capabilities, a much larger touchscreen so it enables more information to be displayed, and a much larger keyboard,” Sarah said.
She said the TW-3 allowed weight recording, multiple drafting, recording multiple traits and treatments, and data analysis while the animal is still in the crush.
“Gallagher’s TW-3 provides information on each animal at their next weighing, such as its corresponding withholding period.”
With 80 years of experience in the farming industry and a reputation for innovations in animal management, Gallagher offers a full range of animal weighing, data collection, EID and software systems.
A Gallagher Weigh Scale provides performance-conscious farmers with an innovative weighing system that is tough, reliable, accurate and simple to use.
- Contact your local Gallagher territory manager on 1800 425 524 or visit gallagher.com