BATTLE IS ON FOR GATE 2 PLATE
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.
Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge feedlot manager Sandy Lyon and Harvey Beef data analyst Jono Green.