Countryman - - FRONT PAGE - Bob Gar­nant

The best over­all feed­lot per­for­mance yet, was the call at the Har­vey Beef Gate 2 Plate Chal­lenge field day last week at Wil­lyung Farms’ feed­lot at Al­bany.

Feed­lot man­ager Sandy Lyon said ideal weather played a part in lift­ing weight gains among the 66 teams of three owner-bred an­i­mals (two steers, one heifer), which av­er­aged 334kg on in­duc­tion on Jan­uary 8.

“These cat­tle, with team av­er­age weights of 447kg at the March 13 weigh­ing, are off to pro­cess­ing soon which will de­ter­mine an out­come for the feed­lot com­pe­ti­tion, now in its fourth year, with win­ners in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories and an ul­ti­mate prize of $5000 go­ing to the best-placed over­all team,” he said.

The com­pe­ti­tion, es­tab­lished in 2015, aims to as­sess cat­tle per­for­mance through the whole do­mes­tic sup­ply chain in WA — from grain-fed to the Meat Stan­dards Aus­tralia grad­ing sys­tem. Points are spread over three cat­e­gories in­clud­ing feed­lot per­for­mance (max 50 points), pro­cess­ing (50) and MSA grad­ing (25).

Har­vey Beef live­stock buyer and com­pe­ti­tion an­a­lyst Jono Green said the par­tic­i­pants were given feed­back which led to an im­prove­ment across the sup­ply chain and, in turn, in­creased prof­itabil­ity. “The 2018 cat­tle teams were in bet­ter in­duc­tion con­di­tion and over­all av­er­aged 1.76kg daily weight gain at the re­cent data col­lec­tion, as com­pared to the 2017 av­er­age of 1.7kg/day,” he said.

This year’s strong An­gus cross dom­i­nance was re­flected in 18 cat­tle team en­tries hav­ing a cer­tain per­cent­age of that breed in ei­ther a two or three-way breed­ing split.

In ad­di­tion, there were 12 pure An­gus teams with the near­est num­bers of other pure-breds com­ing from the Mur­ray Grey breed, with five teams rep­re­sented.

Field day visi­tors were handed a 65day on-feed data sum­mary, which iden­ti­fied some fron­trun­ners as far as weight gain was con­cerned.

A Sus­sex cross An­gus team, en­tered by Wil­lyung Pty Ltd, of Al­bany, put on the most liveweight, con­vert­ing a mesh grain diet to an av­er­age 145kg gain, only 1kg bet­ter than a pure An­gus team en­tered by Rayview Park, of Al­bany.

The Wil­lyung team av­er­aged 2.23kg/day, headed by the strong per­for­mance of the heifer com­po­nent, which put on 152kg for 2.34kg/day.

How­ever, the Rayview Park heifer gained the most weight in­di­vid­u­ally (165kg or 2.54kg/day).

Jar­rod Car­roll, of Rayview Park, said he se­lected a heav­ier team this year, hop­ing for good feed­lot per­for­mance to push the bound­aries.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing to get the fi­nal re­sults of the com­pe­ti­tion to see if I was on the mark,” he said.

Both teams had equal weight gains of 148kg for a steer com­po­nent or 2.28kg daily weight gains.

In third spot for weight gain, so far this year, was a pure An­gus team (141kg gain) from the SJ Panizza Fam­ily Trust.

Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant

Har­vey Beef Gate 2 Plate Chal­lenge feed­lot man­ager Sandy Lyon and Har­vey Beef data an­a­lyst Jono Green.

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