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Compost processing for crop productivity & soil carbon

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Showcasing onsite manure turning, screening and organising machinery, hear from David Barnes, Operations Manager at Elders Killara on how they are using this machinery to increase efficiencies, such as reducing the turning time from 1hr to 8mins, as well as the positive impact this will have on the way Killara on-sells this by-product.

Co-presenter, Agronomist Peter McKenzie will be on hand to talk through the breakdown of the manure and explain the scientific benefits this compost management system has on crop productivity and soil carbon.

Compost is something all feedlots need to manage, so see how your peers are working it to their advantage!

Keen to learn more? Read the full research report here.

Safe Utilisation of Feedlot manure and Effluent flott.202_final_report 2002
Download PDF • 1.37MB



David (Barnsey) Barnes

Operations Manager, Elders Killara Feedlot

David Barnes has been Killara Feedlot’s Operations Manager for six years.

Before his current role, he completed his trade in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Sydney, worked with his father in the family Electrical and Air Conditioning Business.

David took over and expanded his family business, with a team of 15 employees and contractors completing mechanical services contracts throughout NSW. When he eventually sold this business, he completely changed directions and bought a pub in regional NSW. In both businesses he gained valuable skills and contacts, which have followed him into the feedlot industry.

To professionally prepare for his role at Killara, he completed two-year course at Seventy West in Toowoomba. Leaving with insights into feedlot production and feeding management, this provided a solid foundation for his knowledge of the feedlot industry.

David enjoys the fast pace, hands-on nature of his position and the fact that no two days are the same. In both the large-scale challenges, such as droughts and floods, and the everyday challenges presented at the feedlot, David enjoys the problem solving which ultimately safeguards the health and performance of Killara’s 20,000 head of cattle.

One of his passions at work is to drill down into milling and feeding operations to find ways to improve their efficiencies. Outside of work, his passions include training young horses, campdrafting, and fishing.

Peter McKenzie

Principal Agronomist/Director Agricultural Consulting & Extension Services

Peter is a seasoned agronomist with a rich background in the agricultural industry. Hailing from a wheat sheep farming operation in the central west of NSW, he developed a deep appreciation for the land and its potential. This passion led him to complete a Bachelor of Rural Science at UNE, Armidale, further honing his expertise.

Currently, Peter is the driving force behind his successful private agronomy consulting business. With a strong team of two dedicated employees, he is based on the vibrant Liverpool Plains of NSW, where he serves a loyal clientele. Peter takes pride in delivering exceptional service to his clients, offering advice rooted in scientifically proven industry best practices and his extensive experience.

Before establishing his own practice, Peter played a crucial role as the facilitator/agronomist for the well-recognised AgVance Farming group, which was based on the Liverpool Plains. In this capacity, he served as a vital link between the industry and growers, fostering open communication and supporting farmers to adopt cutting-edge agricultural techniques.

Peter has a keen focus on whole of industry development having been an active participant in various industry initiatives. He has actively worked to disseminate essential research on weed best management, benefiting the wider industry, with particular emphasis on Central West NSW. Additionally, he is currently an engaged member of the Northern Growers Alliance local research group on the Liverpool Plains.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Peter finds joy in various activities outside of work. He cherishes spending quality time with his family and has a keen interest in building projects. When leisure calls, he can often be found pursuing his love for snow and water skiing.


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