KARDELLA beef farmer Ian Kondarovskis carefully manages the feed he puts out for his cattle and now he can do it remotely, even from his primary home in Melbourne.
Last week Ian became not only the first Gippsland but also the first Victorian farmer to install an auto feeder, developed by Feedtech Feeding System in Tatura. Manager David Collier made the journey to help with the installation.
The 21-metre long feeder is set on a concrete pad with a four-metre high, eight-tonne silo at one end, and a motor and gearbox at the other end of the trough system. A centreless auger pulls the feed from the silo into the trough until it hits a sensor at the end.
Ian can set up to 23 programs per day or set the system for ad-lib feed so it automatically refills once the cattle have eaten the feed away from the sensor.
As well as setting his feed options remotely, Ian can also check in visually via a security camera system.
David said auto feeders could be powered by 240-volt power or a 24-volt DC solar unit, however, Ian took advantage of his hilltop location and added a small wind turbine to supplement his solar unit.
Initially developed for sheep farmers, the auto feeders are available in three-metre lengths up to 57 metres. Feedtech has sold almost 150 auto feeders into all Australian states although Ian’s is only the fourth cattle system.
With 93 head of Angus and Hereford cattle on his 60 hectares, Ian will use the auto feeder to close a loop with his other job as a popcorn maker.
He plans to feed the by-product of popcorn processing to his cattle and is keen to confirm reports that it will make his beef even more tender and tastier.
Gippsland Dairy Professionals, Korumburra is a local agent for Feedtech Feeding System.