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industry overview

The Australian feedlot industry is a proudly progressive industry


  • 96% of feedlots are family owned

  • At any one time, 2-3% of Australia’s total cattle population are in feedlots

  • There are up to 400 accredited feedlots in Australia with capacities ranging from 500 to over 50,000+ head

  • The majority or 60% of feedlots in Australia are located in Queensland, followed by 30% in New South Wales

  • Contributes approximately $4.6 billion to the Australian economy

  • Employs 2,000 people directly

  • Total capacity in Australian feedlots can reach 1,544,880 head/SCU

  • Grain fed beef contributes 30 - 40% of Australia’s total beef production


The social, economic and trade environment that ultimately led to the genesis of the Australian grain fed beef industry started long before the first feedlots were constructed.


Price fluctuations and drought have been a recurring theme throughout the Australian beef industry’s history. Climatic variability has in a large part defined the character of the Australian beef industry for much of its history, and was, in itself, a significant catalyst that led to the development of a feedlot industry in Australia.


In the lead up to the formation of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) there was a feeling that stronger representation was needed on a national basis. In 1970 ALFA was formed and became the representative body for the grain fed beef industry in Australia.


The above are excerpts from “Grain Fed” The History of the Australian Cattle Lot Feeding Industry hardback book published in 2014 and written by Jon Condon & Bob Coombs. The book provides a chronological account of the first origins of the sector, the key events that shaped its evolution and the key individuals involved.


With over 100 photos of feedlots, lot feeders and other stakeholders, as well as fascinating accounts from influential figures throughout the industry’s history, it is a must have for all those interested in the beef industry.


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