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Backgrounding operation relies on robust and accurate Gallagher management tools

Time saved in faster, more accurate processes has been just one of the benefits for a Gympie steer-backgrounding operation.

Danny and Kellie Attard, along with Danny’s father George, run 600 head on 81 hectares (200 acres) in south-east Queensland.

The Attards buy in a mix of European breeds at around 280-300 kilograms, turning them off to a feedlot at around 480-500kg.

Numbers game

Danny says, “Everything revolves around weight gain; it’s all a numbers game. It varies depending on the time of the year, but at the moment it’s taking us probably five months to get them up to the 480 mark. We’re working on making that four months though. The numbers are important: we need to know who’s doing what sort of weight gain; so which ones do we keep, which do we sell when, and which ones do we need to cull.”

Enter their advanced, EID-compatible Gallagher TW-3 Weigh Scale and Data Collector.

“There was another scale and panel reader setup here when we bought the place 12 months ago moving down from Mackay, and it was just a pain in the backside.

“I’d been looking at Gallagher for a while, we were really needing a better idea of what they’re doing. I saw this on the internet, and we liked it the more we looked into it. We were in the store, Tom Grady Rural Merchandise, one day and the Gallagher bloke was in there. We started talking to him, and then bought one.”

Accuracy and simplicity

Danny says the impact on the day-to-day management of their business has been substantial.

“Our data is far more accurate. We know who’s putting weight on, and who isn’t. Who’s cost us money, and who’s making us money. On top of that, it’s just easy to use: it’s like a big smartphone with a touchscreen really. You can talk to it through your phone, too. It’s really good.”

All data is recorded via the pre-loaded Animal Performance Software (APS).

“So you don’t have to go back and spend hours in the office, just putting in data, it’s all there. You can sit there and just scroll through, having a beer instead, looking at what you want."

“We had a presentation day on our place, which was good. A few farmers from around the area came and had a look and we learnt a fair bit too on how to put the traits and other data, like life data in. Everyone liked it.”

Fencing with punch

The Attards’ land is split into 25 paddocks of 2.4ha (eight acres) to allow for cell grazing. As part of the business improvements, they put in an M5800i Energizer, which powers fencing across the entire property.

“We chose that one because it hurts! Apart from that, it’s the best value for money as far as distance and product goes. You can’t beat Gallagher. And the remote is awesome: you can turn a fence on and off from anywhere – it is the go."

“When we got here, there was some other Energizer here and it had no punch whatsoever. Because we’re buying cattle in all the time, they need to know to stay in right from when they come. Beforehand, we had a little bit of trouble with them getting in and out, but now, no drama.”

Kellie says, “What we’ve done with the fence and the TW-3 Weigh Scale, it’s all about time and accuracy. We’re not wasting time now, checking stuff, all this Gallagher gear saves us heaps. And the quality of the products is really good too. Even down to the handles for the gates. We’ve converted pretty much all over to Gallagher now. We were using a cheaper brand, but we found they’re just not as good. The Gallagher ones last much better."

“Our Territory Manager is really good, any questions, we can just ring. We did an upgrade and our TM was away, so we rang the IT mob and they were good on the phone too. So the quality’s there and so is the support.”

“Our data is far more accurate. We know who’s putting weight on, and who isn’t"