FEW operations can boast conducting a graingrowing operation coupled with one of the most prominent full-blood Wagyu breeding and feedlot businesses in Australia.
In addition to this, the business exports the Mayura Wagyu brand beef to five countries and manages a restaurant built on the property to serve its Wagyu beef.
The quality of their product was acknowledged at last year's Australian Wagyu Association's Conference on the Gold Coast where Mayura Station was awarded a gold medal at the inaugural Wagyu Branded Beef Competition.
The de Bruin family has a high level of business acumen and uses their 50 years of farming experience to manage the 2340-hectare holding.
Mayura station annually crops 800ha and uses 1200ha for breeding purposes with about 250ha set aside for backgrounding Wagyu feeder cattle before entering the feedlot.
The de Bruins were early adopters of Wagyu genetics when they imported 25 full-blood females and four bulls from Shogo Takeda in 1998.
From this fledgling beginning, the herd now stands at 2000 breeding females.
Mayura Wagyu Beef join the females using a sequential artificial breeding program to provide feeder cattle continually during the year to supply its domestic and export beef customers.
The initiative in expanding the business by building and commissioning a feedlot in 2007 has paid dividends.
The feedlot covers an area of about 2.5ha of the total land area, creating many different marketing opportunities for the business.
The feedlot is licensed to carry 590 standard cattle units. In addition to this, Mayura has a 'range- fed' program, which feeds an additional 1200-head annually.
The system uses 25 cells each having an area of about 8ha that can hold a maximum capacity of 80 head.
The cells are rotated: stocked for eight weeks and then rested for another eight weeks.
Throughout the year, the feedlot turns off about 700 head of Wagyu cattle under full NFAS accreditation.
Managing director Scott de Bruin says that, in the future, the family plans to expand their lot- feeding operations to be licensed to carry 3000 head.
"The location of the feedlot on the property is unique as significant earth works were undertaken using a large excavator to cut a 15-metre wall into the side of a hill to provide a wind shelter to shield the cattle from the cold prevailing winds that occur in this region," Mr de Bruin said.
"The feedlot design is very different by Australian standards, incorporating a 2800-square metre barn style shelter with 10 pens.
The Mayura feedlot is the only one in Australia to feature a fully automated conveyor feed delivery system with the capability to deliver rations within 45 minutes about midday each day to all the cattle on feed.
"The automated feed delivery system utilises a conveyor belt and tripper/troller to deliver the feed into each pen's feed bunk. There are three batch hoppers on load-cells which hold three different rations.
The operator can select individual rations for any pen in the feedlot.
The systems are accurate to deliver plus or minus 5kg to any pen.
"An Allen Bradley PLC is used to manage the automated delivery system," Mr de Bruin said.
"The local forest industry provides a plentiful source of sawdust which is used on the pen floors and provides the cattle with ideal bedding."
*Full report in Stock Journal, January 3 issue, 2013.