Hunt's on for feedlot site

Mort & Co enters property market

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At a time when most companies are putting expansion plans on hold, Australia's largest privately owned feedlot business, Mort & Co, has commenced a search for their next property to develop, with the process already underway.

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Specialists: Mort & Co is synonymous with feedlotting in Australia and around the world. The business has been built on the back of their expertise in lot-feeding beef cattle.

Specialists: Mort & Co is synonymous with feedlotting in Australia and around the world. The business has been built on the back of their expertise in lot-feeding beef cattle.

At a time when most companies are putting expansion plans on hold, Australia's largest privately owned feedlot business, Mort & Co, has commenced a search for their next property to develop, with the process already underway.

Following another strong performance in the 2020 financial year, and in line with the company's aggressive growth strategy, the business has signalled its intentions to increase operations even further, entering the market to look for a new property that will be utilised for a greenfield feedlot development and broadacre farming site.

Mort & Co chief executive officer Stephen O'Brien said 2020 has definitely been challenging, continuing to present a range of scenarios that the company hadn't considered twelve months ago.

Searching: Mort & Co is looking for a new property that will be utilised for a greenfield feedlot development and broadacre farming site.

Searching: Mort & Co is looking for a new property that will be utilised for a greenfield feedlot development and broadacre farming site.

"While we've found ways to overcome these obstacles, as a business, we remain committed to executing our long-term strategic plan, of which feedlot growth remains a key pillar,' Mr O'Brien said.

"Because of this growth focus, we're always on the lookout for new opportunities, which means we don't tend to sit still for too long," he said.

Mr O'Brien said the last couple of years have clearly demonstrated the company's appetite for progression with the completion of the Grassdale Feedlot expansion in 2019.

"This resulted in a 36 per cent increase in cattle capacity for the business and saw Grassdale become Australia's largest feedlot at 77,000 head (hd).

"Further to this, the business has continued to explore expansion possibilities for our Pinegrove Feedlot, situated at Millmerran. We're aiming to increase it from 9,600hd to 25,000hd capacity.

Economic benefits: The total (direct and indirect) economic contribution of a 30,000 SCU feedlot. Source: Deloitte Access Economics.

Economic benefits: The total (direct and indirect) economic contribution of a 30,000 SCU feedlot. Source: Deloitte Access Economics.

"Additionally, the company is also moving ahead with our Grassdale Fertilisers project, which will provide both compost and a unique granulated fertiliser option to be utilised in both the broadacre and horticultural markets."

Given it is a greenfield site, Mort & Co will custom build its operation from the ground up, in much the same way Grassdale was created.

As a specialist feedlot business, the company has a strict set of criteria in place when assessing potential locations. These requirements include:

  • A significant land parcel/property of at least 3000 hectares that must be up for genuine sale
  • Located south of Emerald and down to Bendigo
  • Secure ground water entitlement with a minimum of 1000ML allocation
  • Onsite clay/gravel deposits/resources
  • Existing three-phase power or nearby access to it
  • Close proximity to key transport corridors with heavy vehicle access
  • Within 40 kilometres of a regional centre
  • An existing mix of land types including cultivable land suitable for cropping and irrigation, and ridge country for feedlot development

Mort & Co general manager of Feedlots and Farms, Scott Braund, said the business has a good understanding of what the ideal property for a feedlot site looks like.

"Mort & Co is synonymous with feedlotting in Australia and around the world," Mr Braund said.

"Our business has been built on the back of our expertise in lot-feeding beef cattle," he said.

"We've purchased pre-existing sites, incorporating our own systems, as well as having built feedlots from greenfield, achieving solid success using both methods. Based on these experiences, we can now be quite prescriptive about what it is we need from a property to be able to run an effective operation."

Mr Braund also noted the flow-on effects such developments have in regional areas.

"While projects such as these deliver benefits for our business, they simultaneously produce positive outcomes for the immediate and surrounding communities where they're undertaken."

A 2015 report reviewing Regional Feedlot Investment, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics and published by Meat & Livestock Australia, indicated the positive impact. These impacts are highlighted in the graphic, pictured on this page.

  • Anyone who owns a property fitting the above stated criteria and who is interested in exploring the possible sale of it, are encouraged to please contact Mort & Co's Brad Robinson on (07) 4639 6049 or via email brad.robinson@mortco.com.au

The story Hunt's on for feedlot site first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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