07/01/2020 - 15:28

Harvest Road makes progress on $51m feedlot plan

07/01/2020 - 15:28

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Andrew Forrest’s agricultural investment vehicle Harvest Road Group has taken a major step towards building Western Australia’s biggest cattle feeding facility, with plans recently lodged for approval by planning authorities.

Harvest Road makes progress on $51m feedlot plan
Harvest Road's feedlot proposal has been designed to reduce reliance on pastures for cattle feeding. Photo: Minderoo Group

Andrew Forrest’s agricultural investment vehicle Harvest Road Group has taken a major step towards building Western Australia’s biggest cattle feeding facility, with plans recently lodged for approval by planning authorities.

Harvest Road, the owner of the Harvey Beef brand and part of Mr Forrest’s Minderoo Group,  has proposed to build a 40,000-capacity cattle feeding facility at its Koojan Downs property, located around 24 kilometres south-west of Moora in the Shire of Dandaragan.

Documents lodged with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage indicate the facility will cost $51.9 million to construct.

The project will be built in two stages, both of which will be able to accommodate 20,000 head.

Harvest Road announced the feedlot plan in late 2018, as a strategic move to mitigate against changing climatic conditions and promote drought resilience by bringing feeder cattle onto a 100-day grain finishing program to reduce reliance on pastures.

“This will provide greater security for cattle producers and Harvey Beef to withstand the ups and downs of the market, while ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality grain-finished cattle for the WA domestic market and the rapidly growing premium export markets around the world,” a development application prepared by planning firm Element said.

“Harvest Road believes that this considerable investment in the WA beef industry will significantly increase and stabilise the WA beef supply chain, reducing the supply risk and enabling Harvey Beef to better manage the processing phase."

The project will be assessed by the Mid-West Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel in coming months.

In addition to planning approvals, Harvest Road requires approval from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Harvest Road is commissioning a regional economic impact assessment specific to the project, while a 2015 Deloitte study indicated a 30,000-head feedlot facility would provide a $100 million economic injection.

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