February 26, 2024

Precision feeding makes Causeway the Top End’s prime supplier

Producing top-quality, bespoke cattle feed is Causeway Beef Nutrition’s be all and end all. And it’s propelled it to top spot in the Top End.

“You’ll find the people in the cattle industry have a very, very strong constitution for hard work,” says Causeway Beef Nutrition director Peter McHugh. “And for taking a punch.”

Across the Top End, which Causeway services, cattle producers need to be tough. Some of the most temperamental weather in Australia, and struggles with pasture quality, make it a challenge to get the most out of a herd.

Peter, the third generation of his family to be involved in the beef cattle industry, has been searching for the right feed supplements to assist in that task for over 50 years, and Causeway is a leading supplier of supplement to beef producers across the North.

“Some areas are still being solved [but] the understanding of nutrition has come a long way in the half-century I’ve been involved,” he says.

Causeway was originally a more diversified company, but the company evolved to find the most important element in cattle health and productivity, with the largest market gap. In the early 2000s it built a state-of-the-art stockfeed production facility, including computerised batching, and divested the other parts of the business.

“We sold off or closed down divisions in 2007 and decided to focus on cattle supplementation,” Peter says.

The move worked out well enough that Causeway stood up a new, upgraded and entirely computerised facility to replace the original in 2022.

Causeway’s mixing plant can produce precision batches for every customer, with all raw material computer weighed separately so as to carefully optimise the percentage of nutrients that go into each batch. Individual feed supplementation is made to specification for the herd, their environment and the producer’s needs.

Peter is highly attentive to the quality of his inputs, particularly phosphate. That drives him to seek out the best possible national or international suppliers of nutrients and ingredients and actively pursue import opportunities.

Similarly, he’s determined to seek out the best possible supplier of foreign exchange services. While Causeway has been banking with NAB since the late 1980s, Peter says that NAB’s currency trading services have been particularly helpful.

He points to the information services and flexibility on trades as especially useful. “I’ll receive yesterday’s value ranges before 10am every morning, as well as any information that indicates any changes coming.”

For other businesses looking to get into import or export, Peter suggests that finding a trusted adviser is a crucial first step.

“Know who you’re dealing with. Make sure you’ve got a complementary financier working with you. And remember it’s an averaging game.”

As for Causeway’s next step, Peter believes continued technological innovation, together with producers’ growing interest in cattle nutrition, means there’s plenty of growth on the horizon.

“The future of the industry’s strong. Today you’d find the majority of the properties would be supplement feeding, probably 80 per cent of the time.”

As evidence continues to grow for the benefits of supplement feeding, Causeway’s aim is to continue to be the face of industry change as it backs further improvements in feeding practices.

NAB Rural Commodities Wrap: May 2024

NAB Rural Commodities Wrap: May 2024

27 May 2024

The NAB Rural Commodities Index increased by 3.2% month-on-month in April, after slipping 5.7% month-on-month in March.The index is around levels seen in April 2023.

NAB Rural Commodities Wrap: May 2024