Australia’s largest cattle feedlot can be found near Dalby on Queensland’s Darling Downs. The-state-of-the-art Grassdale facility is managed by Mort & Co and can feed up to 80,000 head of cattle, with the scale of the lot presenting a unique opportunity.
Given there is a guaranteed continuous supply of manure, Mort & Co have launched Grassdale Fertilisers to supply certified organic, granular fertiliser to horticulture and broadacre operations domestically and overseas.
The company has a vision to give something back to the environment, with their innovative carbon-based granules designed to improve soil carbon levels while enhancing nutrient cycling, water retention and microbial activity. The scale of the operation is what sets it apart, as organic fertilisers have traditionally not been available at a volume large enough for broadacre applications.
Grassdale Fertiliser products are manufactured at a state-of-the-art facility, located adjacent to the expansive feedlot. Manure is taken directly from the pens and put through a composting process, before being turned into carbon sequestering granules that can be easily applied on-farm.
All major product lines from Grassdale are certified organic and can be either broadcast or applied by air seeder on broadacre operations. For home or horticulture use, the products can be spread up to 200 grams per square metre, depending on soil conditions. The Grassdale development team has worked hard to ensure the granules are dried sufficiently, opting for 10 per cent moisture to help with flow and stability.
Granulated products include Terrus and Terrus Pro, both of which deliver slow-release nutrients and trace elements that are integral to optimal plant growth. Their Gyptek product also contains micronised gypsum, a good option for conditioning clay-based soils. Grassdale also offer single-source, manure-based Humic Compost for those not seeking a granulated fertiliser.
The business has been certified organic for approximately three years. Their Humic Compost was the first to be certified, with the granulated products also certified as allowed inputs. Grassdale Fertilisers chose to become certified to the ‘Bud’ as it represents a stamp of trust and authenticity, acting as a defining measure between products that are authentically organic and those that are not.
Like many agricultural enterprises, Grassdale has been challenged by effects of the 2022 floods which brought about production and freight difficulties. Their granulation facility is the largest of its kind in Australia, and the team went through a long commissioning phase due to equipment and other logistical delays.