Ron Markvovi is in his seventies and runs a farm for an Italian builder based in Sydney. The farm is on the outskirts of Mossvale, a very picturesque town in New South Wales.
There is very little that Ron doesn’t know about feeding cattle, after his 19 years running this beef feedlot. “To me it is all about minding the animals, caring for them and feeding them correctly to get the most from them”, remarks Ron.
Ron has been using an Abbey VF1000 Diet Feeder with a side elevator to process, mix and feed the cattle on the farm for the past 4 years. The animals are bought to the feed-pad when they are 400kg. Before going onto the pad they go into a steaming area of fresh green grass and ration to prepare them for going onto the high performance diets.
Over the next 90-100 days they put on an impressive 200kg’s (2kg/head/day). He uses as much home grown (silage and hay) and locally available feeds as possible like the potatoes, barley screenings and maize grain mix. The overall ration costs Aus $145/tonne compared to Aus $230/tonne further West in Australia.
They are fed 3% of their body weight on a dry matter basis. Health and performance go hand-in-hand on this remarkable farm. For example the animals get the TMR twice daily so as to keep as fresh as possible and maximise animal intakes. They get a 5 in 1 vaccine and are treated for worms and lice before entering the feed-lot. The animals are sold at the local Mossvale mart. Which is on every Wednesday and on the day we were there 3000 cattle went through the ring. The next closest mart is 2.5 hour’s drive away. There is a premium for Angus cattle at Aus $3.60/kg vs Aus $3.20 for many other breeds.
One noticeable thing on this farm was animal health and contentment and how comfortable they were around Ron.