Tight labour market forces dairy out, brings in beef feedlot

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Unable to keep up with the labour demands of dairy, a Lancaster farmer is headed straight towards beef feedlotting. Photo by Bethanie Sessions

A Lancaster dairy farmer who began milking in February this year is applying to transform his property into a beef feedlot.

Daniel Jackson said the tight labour market left him unable to run the 695-cow dairy herd he’d initially invested $8.2 million in.

For this reason, Mr Jackson plans to convert the property into a beef feedlotting operation.

Mr Jackson’s application to transform the existing dairy feedpad, construct a second feedpad, put up a four-skillion shed for shade, a hayshed and commodity shed, has been lodged with Greater Shepparton City Council.

It’s estimated the works will cost a further $2.5 million.

These expansions allow for the farm to feedlot 4800 head.

Of the 4800 head, Mr Jackson plans to graze about 500 on the dairy pastures.

At full capacity, the owner expects the converted farm will employ five full-time workers, putting $350,000 of annual wages back into the Kyabram area.

The Freedom Dairies herd is currently being dispersed across two sales, the first in Echuca on Friday, August 5 and second in Shepparton on Friday, August 12.