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Reserve Champion Hereford cross steers in RAS Beef Challenge

Stephen with the Boland family's prizewinning pen of Hereford/Charolais cross steers. Image supplied by Herefords Australia

Hereford genetics have excelled in 2017’s prestigious Sydney Royal Beef Challenge.

The unique, feedlot based competition is run by the RAS and held at Wilga Feedlot in Bellata. The competition represents all stages of the beef production process, from live assessment through to eating quality. Producers enter their cattle as a lot/team of six animals and can enter in either of two classes: the 70 day Domestic or the 100 day Export. 2017’s competition drew 55 Domestic Team entries, and 35 Export Teams.

Paul Boland of East Coraki, Casino, NSW, entered two teams of Hereford/Charolais cross steers in the 70 day Domestic Class, and three teams in the 100 day Export Class.

The steers performed exceptionally well, with one lot earning Reserve Champion Team in the 100 day Export Class with 774.36 points out off 1000. The Reserve Champion team placed first in the carcase grid area of the competition, achieving a score of 129.167 out of 150, the team also placed second in live assessment. Two individual Boland steers placed first in carcase grid, both achieving perfect scores of 25. When it came to eating quality, the steers did not disappoint, earning a Sydney Royal Bronze Medal in the taste test.

Within the Reserve Champion Team the highest dressing percentage was 56.09, the top carcase value was $2154 (at 600c/kg HSCW) and two steers in the team had an eye muscle area of 86sqcm.

According to Wilga Feedlot’s Michael MacCue, 2017’s scores were generally the highest they have had in the competition, with each year’s results seeming to improve on the last.

While this is only the second year the Boland family have entered steers in the competition, their cattle have performed well on both occasions with 2017’s cattle doing slightly better overall.

Paul sources his Hereford cows from the Laurie family in Gloucester and Myrallie Herefords in Singleton. They are then crossed with Charolais bulls from Palgrove Charolais in Stanthorpe and Elstow Charolais in Barraba to achieve the winning cross.

While the numbers of Hereford and Hereford cross cattle were down in 2017’s competition the Boland family have already been supplying cattle to Wilga Feedlot for a number of years. Having seen the performance of of the Boland’s cattle over a long period of time, Michael MacCue said: “We weren’t surprised to see them do well.”

Entering the RAS Beef Competition has many benefits for the producers who enter as it provides a wealth of performance based information on the cattle entered. “The competition is a good idea because it allows you to see how your cattle go in a feedlot situation.” Says Mr Boland.

Michael MacCue shares this opinion on the value of the competition, stating that:
“The competition has been a very good opportunity for breeders and traders to see how their cattle perform in all aspects of the supply chain at the finishing stage. The competition provides the opportunity for exhibitors to see how they perform in comparison to some of the best producers across NSW and QLD. The competition also provides the opportunity for exhibitors to see where their cattle perform well and where there can be improvements made. Every piece of feedback that can be provided is, so exhibitors can see down to the smallest details where they sit.”

Congratulations to Paul Boland and family on such a successful competition.

Source: Herefords Australia

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