Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 14, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THt LFTHMIDGf HEMID TuoAiy, M, 1973- Wesley feedlot first of type in Western Canada By R1C SWIHART of Tlic lli-rald Western Canada's largest pri- vale fully automated feedlot has been opened mi the G. R. Wesley Farm at Granum. Lethbridge's new Member of Tjirliament Ken Hurlburl offi- cially opened the head feedlot which features two 600- ton forage silos at the centre of (he operation. The feedlot was designed by Mr. Wesley and Wayne Mor- rtad, southern AJberta represen- tative for Alberta Harvestore Feeding Systems Ltd. which handles the huge silos. The key to the operation is Oiat one man can control the feed preparation and feeding process alone through a series of buttons and dials in a main control area. Located adjacent to the (arm buildings five miles north of Granum, the 80-foot tall silos make Impressive skyline. These units are designed to take any form of livestock feed from grain to roughage. In all instances, the feed Is blown to the top of the struc- ture hy large fans through a pipe. The silo is constructed of steel fused to glass This allows for maximum air tightness and prohibits rust. A feature of the silo which was built in because of the air tightness factor Is a series of three balloons or air bags which keep the atmospheric pressure Identical inside and out. Healthy The average Canadian throws mil worth of meat from every order. Most of this is because he doesn't know how to buy or cook the products he buys to make them taste the way he expects. MANITOU Manltou was the most popu- lar wheat variety grown on the prairies in 1972. A survey conducted by t h e Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba Wheat Pools said one third of the 17.6 million acres Reeded to bread wheat was of the Manitou variety. Neepawa wheat was close behind with 31 per cent of the total. The third major variety nas Thatcher, accounting for 13.9 per cent They are ruing from the ceil-- Ing with hoses attached to holes in the lop. As the heal inside expands the pressure, the bal- loons deflate. In cold weather, they inflate. This keeps the silo from exploding in hot weather and being crushed in cold wea- ther. It is done to keep oxygen from coming in contact with the feed inside the silo. The feed is taken out of the silo from the bottom. A sweep arm rotates at the bottom and an augre along the length of the sweep brings the feed In the opening. This assures that the first feed into the silo is the first feed out. In the ease of the Wesley feedlot, the feed falls to the first stage conveyor belt. One of the silos feeds the conveyor belt from outeide and this por- tion is covered. The feed then falls onto an electronic weighing device. Im- mediately ahead of the weigh- ing device, rolled grain falls on the forage feed. An augre takes the combination up toward the corrals and supplements are added automatically, if needed. A grain tank above the weigh- ing device supplies the rolling machine. The grain is then raised to surge tank for a constant supply to the convey- or belt. The mixed ration proceeds out of the mixing house via a conveyor to the corrals arrang- ed in n semicircle radiating from a focal point where the conveyor belt pivots to serve all pens. The movement of the convey- or bell which directs the ration to the pens is also controlled by the panel of switches. Another1 conveyor belt carries the feed out to the central por- tion of the pens along the fence dividing the six corrals. A brush which can be turned eith- er direction, sweeps the ration off the conveyor belt to the cor- ral selected by the operator on either side of the Ml. Cattle needing special rations can be fed those rations pro- grammed for diem by the sel- ection of the operator. Mr. Hurlburt said he is glad to see the Initiative shown by Mr. Wesley in establishing the facility. He feels this type of operation will become more Im- portant u> the livestock indus- try in Canada as more produc- ers start Mensive cow call operations AUTOMATED FEEDIOT The layout of the head automated feedlol 01 Granum. MP Ken Hurlburt talks the system with owner Gordon Wesley during the offkiol opening. Some ot the 200 persons wtvo attended the official opening discusa the pros and cons of the new tyslfrm. Steer prices remain low Choice steer prices couM re- main weak during the Belt month, but they are unlikely to go below 1971 price levels of fjl or J32 a hundredweight, gayi the Alberta department of culture's marketing economM Roy Hurnanen. The volume of live cattle Im- ports from the United has been lower than lost year. Imports, says Mr. Hurnanen, should not be a problem for the remainder of the y e a r unless the American cattle market turns extremely weak. With the recent weakness In finished cattle prices, feeders are expected to experience some downward pressure. Also, replacement cattle prices usu- ally move down f om June through November. This yew's calf crop Is expected to provide a heavy fall run of replacement cattle as a result of lire beef cow build-up of recent years. Canadian fed cattle market- ings, as indicated by choice and good are up by seven per cent so far this year. Cow slaughter during the first half of 1972 was about two per cent higher than during the same pe- riod last year. Total cattle slaughter hag shown a 2.5 per cent increase. The demand (or beef bm weakened recently compered with the exceptionally strong demand experienced earlier this year. Mr. Hurnanen ports this weakness to be tem- porary, providing retail outlets lower their prices in response to the lower live cnttlc prices of the past two months. From a long-term point of view, higher consumer incomes, more people working and m Improved total economic out- look should keep the demand ttrong, he eeys.