Host: Yeeda Pastoral Co.
Written by – Vicki Burton, Owner, Yeeda Pastoral Co.
Kilto is a hive of activity; it is the Yeeda Pastoral hub. On Kilto we have our export accredited yard, we grow hay under centre pivot irrigators, it is our truck depot, and our main workshop is run from here.
Today Matt is working on one of the centre pivot irrigators that needs repairs; it is a continuous job keeping the pivots running. When he’s not doing that he is mowing and baling and carting the hay back to the homestead and stacking it ready for use in the feed yards, or to be trucked to one of the other stations.
We grow approximately 500 acres under irrigation.
The pivots are planted with either Rhodes grass or sorghum and are either cut for hay or direct grazed. The irrigation is a big part of our operation and is essential in our paddock to plate story.
Kilto Export Yard
All sale cattle from Yeeda and Springvale are trucked back to Kilto to be drafted and processed for sale. They are put on feed and await a sale contract . . . Generally our cattle go straight from Kilto export yard to the ship as the yard is a fully licensed export depot (More red tape!).
At the moment we have about 1000 head in the yard, the yards have been pretty quiet since the live export ban as we can’t afford to muster, hold, and feed animals that we can’t sell.
The cattle in the yard are fed every day. Murray is in charge of feeding and makes a mix up in the feed mixer each day and feeds it out to the cattle.
Josh and the crew work the yards doing everything from unloading trucks through to drafting, tagging, branding etc.
We draft the cattle into different lines depending on their type and weight. One line would be sale steers and bulls for the live export market. Another would be cattle suitable for slaughter.
We also preg test and spey old cows or cull cows, they are then turned out onto the station and brought back in the following year fat and shiny. They will then be sent south to the farm for slaughter.
Danny and Arthur are the Yeeda truckies and our two road trains are based here at Kilto.
The trucks cart our cattle to and from the other Yeeda properties. In a normal year the trucks are going non-stop bringing sale cattle back from Springvale and Yeeda, also paddock carting on the stations, doing cattle carting jobs for other people and trucking our slaughter cattle to Geraldton.
We send a load south for slaughter every couple of weeks.
Today Arthur is in Geraldton delivering a load of slaughter cattle onto the farm and Danny is doing a carting job for a neighbouring station.
Kilto is where our mechanic, Graham is based. We need a full time mechanic to keep all the equipment maintained and in good order. Machinery and vehicles are sent back to Kilto from other properties to be worked on or re-built each year. There is an awful lot of equipment and vehicles on the properties and farm machinery here as well. That keeps Graham busy from sun up to sun down!
Pav is our boilermaker/welder: he can weld anything and build whatever is required, from cattle yards to cattle crate repairs. He is also a very talented sculpturer, creating animals and characters out of recycled parts that he gathers from far and wide. Quite a few of Pav’s creatures live at Willare, so keep your eye out next time you are there.
Here at the quarters you will find Sharna our cook, whipping up smoko, lunch or dinner. You never quite know how many people you have for dinner each day, it can be anywhere from six to twelve or more, the trucks come and go and the stock guys can be spread out from Kilto to Yeeda and anywhere in between, we also have a steady flow of visitors. So as the cook you have to be pretty flexible!
Sharna also keeps the homestead gardens green and tidy; she is also surrogate mother to poddy calves, pigs, chooks, and puppies! (and a small hairy dog!)