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7 February, 2024

Technology helps Kerwee Feedlot weather recent heat, humidity

Despite many feedlots reporting an increased amount of cattle deaths over the Australia Day weekend, Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot at Jondaryan was able to protect its cattle with the help of weather-monitoring technology.

ABOVE: The feedlot keeps on top of their cattle’s conditions via weather monitoring technology.

The heat and humidity experienced over the last 2 to 3 weeks proved deadly in many feedlots across the Darling Downs and into the South Burnett, with beef news outlet Beef Central reporting that some feed yards lost between 20 and 30 head of cattle.

Kerwee Feedlot Manager Gino De Stefani says that while the weather proved challenging, the weather management systems in place enabled the precinct to avoid the losses experienced elsewhere.

“The last couple of weeks saw an unusually prolonged and severe heatwave with the perfect storm as Beef Central reports of high temperatures, high humidity and low wind-speed,” he said.

“However, we are pleased to report that the impact of the heatwave was minimal and this was due to early invention (guided by our weather monitoring technology) and the fact that we have shade in all pens.

“This technology helps us to predict the impact of weather events and identify any potential heat event days in advance, allowing us to implement strategies and contingency plans to help manage the impact on our cattle.  

“Of course, summer isn’t over yet and while temperatures have eased, we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.”

All feedlots are required to have a Heat Load Management Plan, with mitigation strategies in case of events such as the recent prolonged increase in temperature experienced across the state. 

Daytime temperatures and dew point levels have returned to normal summer levels in the last week, and it’s hoped they will continue to stay that way for the remainder of February.

However, should the mercury spike once more, Kerwee Feedlot will be prepared.

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