Diversifying can mean making a small tweak to an operation, or in today’s guest’s case, building really big — like 40,000 head of cattle big.

Joining us for today’s RealAg LIVE! is Kevin Serfas, of Serfas Farms near Turin, Alta,. who just completed a brand new, large-scale feedlot with new cattle in it (today)!

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!

SUMMARY

  • Pictures! It’s been a hectic past 36 hours for Kevin
  • Why a fresh start? Kevin has an existing feed yard, so why build on a new piece of ground?
  • There’s always something not quite right with existing yards
  • Feedlot alley y’all
  • Picture shows four of the alleys. A lot of earth to move. Allotted enough funds for that?
  • Feedmill is a work in progress. Probably won’t be completed until about June
  • Pond is 100 million gallons! 14 acres
  • Silage pit is not small either. 100,000 tonnes. About 5,000 acres of corn silage with a little bit of barley, oats, and wheat in there too
  • Footprint of the yard is 200 acres, topsoil stripped off and layered on top of banks around the pond. Key to the whole thing is build on the ground that you needed and put the rest on top of productive farmland
  • Blueprints were adapted from existing plans
  • Custom feedlot, private, or both?
  • Everyone has thoughts on feedmills. What makes this one special? “If there’s a tornado, I know where I’m going to hide”
  • Unload two super-Bs at the same time in 12 minutes
  • Receiving pens, can hold 20 loads of cattle
  • Manure management? Lots of high value crops in the area, dryland acres south of them, hauling nowadays isn’t such a big deal
  • Who will be processing all this beef? Majority going to Cargill at High River
  • What are some of the biggest hurdles the beef industry will have to deal with? Environmental and social license issues. Labour
  • Number of pen checkers? 40 (not all at once). Horses are still the most efficient way.
  • Treating facilities?
  • No steep cliffs, no train station nearby…
  • Divvying up the work? Pen checkers are pen checkers. Those working the barn work in the barn. A lot of time can be wasted driving a mile and half to get to a building
  • Kevin did the budget on a 25,000 head feedyard, but needed to get the cost/head down, so the increase to 40,000

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