Australia’s largest privately owned lot feeder, Mort & Co, has today proudly announced plans for a new state-of-the-art Feedlot in Gogango, west of Rockhampton has been given the green light.
The 36,500 SCU (Standard Cattle Units) feedlot will employ in excess of 65 full time staff, turnover 125,500 hd of cattle and bring with it a $15 million fertiliser plant, which will repurpose the 43,000 tonnes of manure, turning it into a carbon-based granule fertiliser.
The feedlot is estimated to have a $31.1 million economic contribution to the Rockhampton economy and inject $53.2 million in to the regional economy.
CEO, Stephen O’Brien and Executive Chairman, Charlie Mort travelled to Rockhampton for the announcement today, meeting with Gogango locals, council and business leaders to explain the development.
“It makes sense for Mort & Co to expand its feedlot footprint into the Rockhampton region, the beef capital of Australia,” said Mr O’Brien.
“But the Rockhampton region should also be excited about the innovation we plan to bring with our lot feeding experience. A new fertiliser factory will be turning the manure on site into a granular fertiliser which is proving to be game changer for Australian Agriculture.”
The fertiliser was developed at Mort & Co’s Grassdale Feedlot near Toowoomba in Queensland in 2018, and has undergone significant testing and trials on farm and in laboratries.
An independent trial by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has shown the manure granule, when blended with other nutrients, can significantly reduce nitrate leaching into water ways.
Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams with Charlie Mort, Executive Director of Mort & Co and Stephen O'Brien, CEO of Mort & Co.
Executive Chairman, Charlie Mort, says the commitment to the region is clear.
“We are in the business of innovation and creating a sustainble industry that will service not only this region, but Australian agriculture for many years to come. That package doesn’t just come with lot feeding experience, it comes with sustainable practices and innovative solutions that the Rockhampton region will be very proud of.”
Mr Mort says the company has worked hard to develop complementary businesses over the past five years which contribute to a sustainable and circular economy.
“We now have a de-hulling and de-oiling cotton seed plant which allows us to extract the meal and oil from the seed, which means that, like the manure, there is no waste. Our science team has developed a new program which will allow our producers to measure and monitor methane emissions and predict herd production. We have a number of trials, including one with Sea Forest, to use seaweed in our stockfeeds to reduce methane on farm.”
Rockhampton Mayor, Tony Williams, says welcoming Mort & Co to the region today is a feather in the beef capital’s cap.
“We’re excited by the economic benefits of having a company like Mort & Co developing in our region, which dovetails beautifully with our beef industry and our Economic Development Strategy.
Agriculture and the beef industry have been big contributors to our region and sectors where we see real growth opportunities going forward. Our focus is on attracting new jobs and investment opportunities and it’s great to see Mort and Co’s project progressing.”
Mort & Co is now in discussions with stakeholders and is undertaking preliminary design work. Completion of the design and tender work is expected early next year, with construction anticipated to commence at the end of 2024.