Exact measurement need calls for the Gallagher TW-3 before Beef Australia
To enter cattle in the nation’s largest competition for the best commercial herd, you have to know exactly how they’re performing.
Mark Howard knows this fact from two angles: as Chair of Beef Australia’s Commercial Cattle Committee, and as Livestock Manager of Duaringa Feedlot in Central Queensland.
Beef Australia is the contest “mecca”; its Commercial Cattle Competition gives commercial producers the chance to showcase their cattle and see how they compare with other breeds and others in the industry head to head in both grass-fed and grain-fed classes.
Mark says, “Producers get a pretty clear message where they are relatively as a breed. What’s also so important about this competition is that the sales attract livestock buyers and interested industry participants from across Australia who are ready to buy the competition winners.”
To that end, Mark needs to make sure Duaringa Feedlot’s own cattle entries are spot on.
The feedlot is part of Duaringa Station Grazing Co., which is spread across three properties: a property at Gogango runs up to 1,100 Droughtmaster breeders, there’s a backgrounding property north of Dingo, and the feedlot is situated between the two.
“Duaringa Station” is 3,240 hectares (8,000 acres) of cropping country and 1,620ha (4,000 acres) of tableland country, while the accredited feedlot has a capacity of 3,000 Standard Cattle Units; custom feeding represents, on average, half of the feedlotting operation.
Assessing the best replacement
Having used a Gallagher W810 Weigh Scale and Data Recorder for many years between Duaringa Station Grazing Co.’s three-property operation, they finally needed to replace it at the end of 2017.
“A couple of young staff here really wanted the Gallagher TW-3.”
Taking that on board, Mark was also happy to compare products and suppliers, to ensure the operation got the best equipment.
The Gallagher TW-3 Weigh Scale and Data Collector is an advanced electronic identification-compatible weigh scale and data collector. Simple to operate, it’s a touchscreen weigh scale with the additional functionality of life data and trait recording.
“One young fellow working for me now, he’s good with equipment like that — much better than me. My own kids can find their way easily around the TW-3, but I can find my way around it, too – if I can get to it first, before the kids do, because they like using it! This TW-3 is really good; in fact, I reckon they’ve made it too good!”
Easy system for all
“We already had Stockbook, so the TW-3 gives us all the information we need; it actually gives you the ability to put information in, such as names with feed-test, ages and that sort of stuff.
“We’re a commercial operation, we’re not a stud, so we’ve got multi-sired herds and all different breeds. But with the information you can put on the Gallagher TW-3, it’s made it really easy as far as breed, pregnancy status and the like.
“We were trying to get a system that’s easy for everybody. The TW-3 is not one of these where you have to spend three or four days in the office after you’ve finished mustering – which is a lot – or come home at night time and do it all. The screen is huge and clear. The unit is really good if you don’t know something too: you can just keep flicking through the onboard inbuilt help manual that’s loaded in the unit; you can click on screens and it will actually take you through it – and you can’t muck anything up; it’s bloody unreal that way.”
Pre Beef Australia (formerly known as “Beef Week”), Mark and the Dauringa team used the Gallagher TW-3 as part of getting their cattle ready, including weighing and putting them into their classes.
“Just the whole way Gallagher has got this set up, the way it sits, it’s just bloody good … they’re on a good thing there, I can tell you. For us, the Gallagher TW-3 was a no-brainer. I’m really happy with it.”