Grain drain: How drought impacts the organic feed business

Aus Organic Feeds tackling the drought


The Big Dry
Aus Organic Feeds business development manager Lauren Hamilton in the company's packing warehouse. Pictures: Steven Trask

Aus Organic Feeds business development manager Lauren Hamilton in the company's packing warehouse. Pictures: Steven Trask

Aa

Greenmount organic feed supplement company, Aus Organic Feeds, has expanded its production capacity tenfold as drought continues to bite.

Aa

THE ongoing drought has been a double-edged sword for the operators of Aus Organic Feeds, with increased demand for their product coupling with a lack of available grain.

The organic feed milling operation at Greenmount has recently expanded its livestock feed business with new equipment capable of milling up to 10 tonnes an hour.

Business development manager Lauren Hamilton said the animal feed milling operation started in 2000 to offset the byproducts of sister operation Kialla Pure Foods, which mills organic grains for human consumption.

Video produced by Sally Cripps and Melody Labinsky.

Ms Hamilton said demand for their product had increased to such an extent that six months ago the facility was expanded to go from being capable of million one tonne an hour to ten.

They supply livestock feed for producers in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, with demand particularly strong in Queensland's drought stricken central west.

"We actually have a big band of organic customers between Blackall and Charleville, of beef cattle, so that's where most of our commercial product goes.

A load of feed getting ready to be trucked off to Blackall.

A load of feed getting ready to be trucked off to Blackall.

"At the moment we're sending 80 tonnes a week to Blackall, and we've also picked up a lot of dairy farmers in Victoria," Ms Hamilton said.

"Currently because of the drought we only have three grains available; we would mill anything that comes our way but the drought has really put a dampener on everything.

"We're stuck in the middle where we are caught between a rock and a hard place because we've got so much demand but we have to project for the next 12 months because we don't know when we're going to get rain, which producers need, because a lot of our farmers aren't on irrigation."

Ms Hamilton opens up one of the pellet makers.

Ms Hamilton opens up one of the pellet makers.

Ms Hamilton said the business was continuing to expand despite the tough conditions and next month would enter the retail space for the first time, selling chicken pellet feed to Petstock and Petbarn.

Read more: Geoff's Kamut trial nearly ready to harvest

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by