A $60k kitty up for grabs
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.
GET SET: Entries for the Paddock to Palate Wagyu Challenge close April 19, 2019, with the overall winner to be crowned in August 2020.