A $60k kitty up for grabs

Central and North Rural Weekly - - COLUMN -

BEEF pro­duc­ers now have the chance to ‘steak’ their claim on al­most $60,000, with en­tries open­ing for the RNA’s Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion and Pad­dock to Palate Wagyu Chal­lenge.

In its 22nd year, Pad­dock to Palate is the na­tion’s rich­est beef com­pe­ti­tion, with $46,000 in prize­money.

Aus­tralian wagyu pro­duc­ers will also cash in with the RNA Wagyu Chal­lenge of­fer­ing $10,000.

Beef­ing up the com­pe­ti­tion num­bers in 2019 will be the ad­di­tion of a new HGP (hor­mone growth pro­motant) free ex­port class and in­creased en­try weights for Classes 37 and 38.

Class 37 en­try weight has in­creased from 420kg to 460kg and Class 38 en­try weight has in­creased from 380kg to 400kg.

RNA Beef Cat­tle Com­mit­tee chair­man Gary Noller said the changes were in re­sponse to re­cent in­dus­try trends.

“We have been lis­ten­ing to our ex­hibitors and closely watch­ing the in­dus­try and de­mand for the HGP-free prod­uct is in­creas­ing both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally,” he said.

“The RNA is a very proud cham­pion of the Aus­tralian beef in­dus­try and our Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion and Wagyu Chal­lenge set a bench­mark for the in­dus­try, while also ac­knowl­edg­ing the ef­forts of pri­mary pro­duc­ers.

“The beef in­dus­try is for­ever chang­ing and chal­leng­ing, whether it’s cli­mate, biose­cu­rity or evolv­ing mar­kets, and it’s a tes­ta­ment to our ex­hibitors to see the un­fal­ter­ing qual­ity of the cat­tle across the three phases.”

More than 120 head of cat­tle are ex­pected to be judged across the new non-HGP three-phased com­pe­ti­tion which, sim­i­lar to Class 37 and 38, com­prises the best ag­gre­gate weight gain over 120 days, a car­cass com­pe­ti­tion and an MSA eat­ing qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion.

The ex­hibitor who polls the high­est ag­gre­gate score across the three cat­e­gories is awarded the over­all prize at a pre­sen­ta­tion dur­ing the Royal Queens­land Show (Ekka) Beef Week, with David and Prue Bond­field tak­ing out this year’s Class 37 100-day ex­port for their charo­lais, and David Crom­bie win­ning Class 38 for his an­gus-cross ul­tra­black/santa.

En­tries for the Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion close on Jan­uary 18, 2019.

The com­pe­ti­tion is capped at 777 head of cat­tle for Class 37, 518 head for Class 38 and 280 head for Class 40, so pro­duc­ers are en­cour­aged to get in early.

The Pad­dock to Palate Wagyu Chal­lenge is also wel­com­ing en­tries into its 2019/20 com­pe­ti­tion, to be held across 400 days from May next year.

Al­most 170 head of cat­tle were en­tered into the 2018/19 com­pe­ti­tion, which is now at the half­way mark.

The 2017/18 win­ner was crowned at this year’s Ekka, with Alan Hoey tak­ing out the ti­tle for the sec­ond time with his wagyu F3+.

To en­ter the com­pe­ti­tions or for more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.ekka.com.au.

PHOTO: FILE

GET SET: En­tries for the Pad­dock to Palate Wagyu Chal­lenge close April 19, 2019, with the over­all win­ner to be crowned in Au­gust 2020.

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