INNOVATION is the aim of any game and Paringa Feedlot manager, Justin Dooley, said the use of reconstituted sorghum in their ration was proving to be a successful choice.
Mr Dooley has been working at the 4000-head Paringa Feedlot, near Capella in Central Queensland, for nine years and has been more than pleased with weight gains following the introduction of sorghum.
He said the grain was usually readily available locally making it an ideal feed choice.
“It’s easy to grow here, but if you feed cattle straight sorghum you don’t get too much of a gain,” he said.
“But doing the reconstituted sorghum brings it up to near the equivalent to wheat in gains. There’s a bit of work in it, but you get the result in the end.”
Paringa Feedlot, which was built in 1987, provides custom feeding for EU cattle and domestic cattle, as well as offering backgrounding services. Mr Dooley said anything that walked through the gates would be fed the grain mixed on-site.
“We’re using wheat, corn and reconstituted sorghum,” he said.
“We finish for Coles, the average weight in is 340 kilograms, exiting weight is probably 460kg to 470kg, and they’re in for about 80 days.”
The feedlot is currently stocked with about 2600 head with about a quarter made up of custom-fed cattle.
“The past three or four years were big years,” he said.
“There was a little bit of a drop off in numbers this year, but it is just starting to get fired up again.”
Mr Dooley said recent rains had seen fewer producers needing to rely on the feedlot, but a dryer forecast for this summer could see numbers up again.
The feedlot, owned by Philip and Deborah Reid, makes up part of a large commercial cattle business spread over five blocks with a combined area of 14,000 hectares.
Mr Dooley said the operation ran about 900 breeders, as well as backgrounders bought as weaners and sourced from about six clients in the region.
The operation’s main herd was predominantly Braford joined to Murray Grey and Angus bulls, with the Angus offspring just recently starting to come through the feedlot.