09 Jul 2015

Truro wins Beef Challenge!

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A team of six purebred Hereford steers have emerged from a field of British bred and European cross steers to win the highest weight gain in the 2015 Sydney Royal Beef Challenge.

The challenge drew 55 teams of six steers for the 70 day domestic trial at the Wilga Feedlot, Bellata, NSW.

Scott and Pip Hann, Truro Herefords, Bellata, entered a single pen of six commercial Hereford steers to win the champion average weight gain pen and the champion individual average daily weight gain.

The team averaged 2.5kg a day across the 70 day domestic trial, with the highest individual steer achieving 2.98kg a day.

The win was announced during a field day on June 29 at the Wilga feedlot.

Mr Hann said the family had supported the Sydney Royal Beef Challenge since its inception and this was their biggest win to date.

“The steers are 16-17 months of age and all by our own bulls and out of commercial cows – there was nothing special about them and they were selected on weight,’’ he said.

“The cut off for the competition was 540kg liveweight and our top gaining steers finished at 570 and 556kg making them ineligible for the carcass component unfortunately.

“The remaining four steers are eligible to win on an individual basis only.

“All our steers entered the feedlot at 350kg liveweight – you can do all the maths you like but if animals are gaining at almost 3kg a day, it blows everything out of the water.’’

Mr Hann said the steers were fed a ration of 52 per cent wheat and 48 per cent barley.

The runner-up team were Angus.

“There were a lot of European cross and British bred cattle in the competition and it proved straightbred Herefords can outperform them on weight gain,’’ Mr Hann said.

The family normally runs a commercial herd of 300 cows but dry conditions have forced numbers back to 150.

“We use the Challenge to benchmark ourselves against every other breed – if the competition identifies we have a problem, then we rectify it for the betterment of our own cattle,’’ Mr Hann said.

“Generally, we try to fatten our commercial cattle on grass but in dry seasons we can’t always do that, and our feeder cattle do go to the Wilga feedlot.’’
The challenge also includes a 100 day export class.

Entries in the 70 day domestic class were processed by Australian Country Choice, Cannon Hill, Brisbane, on June 30, with final results announced in October at the Sydney Royal Beef Challenge presentation dinner.

Images from the Beef Challenge


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