Sussex holds on to beef award
Angus cross Poll Sussex cattle held their ground against a Limousin uprising in what was the tightest top-three point placings since the inception of the annual Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge.
Sandy and Narelle Lyon, of Willyung Farms, Albany, produced their first winning team consisting of two steers and one heifer.
It was back-to-back victory for Willyung Poll Sussex genetics, after Mr Lyon’s parents, Alister and Doreen Lyon, won the 2017 challenge title with a pure Poll Sussex team.
Mr Lyon said the hybrid Angus component in the Poll Sussex cross team for the 2018 win worked a charm, but only just, as the Willyung team stole the title by less than one point from a Limousin team.
What got the Lyons over the line was their second overall ranked steer and a very profitable third overall ranked heifer which had net proceeds of $1415 and profit of $197.
The Lyons, who host the competition cattle at their Willyung Farms feedlot, received a round of applause in accepting their prestigious award at a gathering of 190 people at Albany’s Centennial Stadium last week.
Mr Lyon gave credit to his father’s steadfast Poll Sussex stud breeding aptitude over many years.
In his feeder report, Mr Lyon said in the fourth year of the competition, cattle weight gains were up on last year as were feed conversion ratios.
Albany Agricultural Society president Erica Henderson said participating producers were on the right track for WA’s Meat Standards Australia graded domestic grain-fed supply chain.
“The challenge collects the appropriate data that affects profitability from farm gate to consumer’s plate,” she said. “The Schools Challenge (held last month), which this year was won by WA College of Agriculture, at Cunderdin, gives our youth the opportunity to interact with industry.”
Challenge co-ordinator Sheena Smith said the average daily gain of cattle through the feedlot had increased by 0.09kg for an average 1.77kg/day while the feed consumption had decreased.
Again, the challenge had many highlights from the 21 different breeds represented, with the biggest numbers (41) entered as pure Angus.
The overall runner-up prize winner, Kevin Nettleton, of Unison Limousin stud, Boyanup, also collected a second place award for feedlot performance for his pure Limousin team.
Third place overall and most improved team was won by SA & SH Smith, of Narrikup, with a team of Murray Grey cross Angus cross Poll Sussex.
Bruce and Gaye Campbell, of Keysbrook, placed first in the best processor performance category with a team of Charolais cross Angus cattle.
Garry Thomas, of Tungamah Speckle Park stud, Gingin, was awarded the best MSA performance.
The school with the most points in the challenge was awarded to WA College of Agriculture, of Denmark, for its pure Simmental team.
Boyanup cattleman Kevin Nettleton, centre, of Unison Limousin stud, pictured with Harvest Road chief executive Greg Harvey and Harvey Beef livestock general manager Kim McDougall, was runner-up in the challenge competition.
Gingin cattleman Garry Thomas, of Tungamah Speckle Park stud, second left, flanked by Coles regional manager Gerry McCann and Albany store manager Sage Grantham and challenge committee member Claire King.
Gaye and Bruce Campbell, of Keysbrook, centre, pictured with Mt Barker Regional Saleyards chairman Len Handasyde and challenge committee member Jarrod Carroll.
Sandy and Narelle Lyon, of Willyung Farms, Albany, were congratulated by Harvest Road chief executive Greg Harvey and livestock general manager Kim McDougall on winning the overall Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge.
Narrikup cattle producers Robert, Sheena and Stewart Smith were awarded third place overall and had the most improved cattle team.
WA College of Agriculture, Denmark, beef technical officer Joanne Angilley accepted the school’s most points award.