IF producing beef was a reality show then 180 head of prime yearling beef have just gone under the most public judgement and scrutiny in the inaugural Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate feedlot challenge.
Sixty teams (comprising two steers and one heifer) of all breeds went under the intense microscope of the feedlot to measure their commercial performance and value.
The Albany Agricultural Society-run event attracted entrants from across the Great Southern and South West cattle hubs and the performance measuring and data collection from 77 days on feed has provided invaluable insight into the WA beef industry.
With as much information and data as you could poke a stick at there was one entry which ticked all the right performance boxes.
This was an Angus-Limousin team from John Galati Family Trust, Brunswick, which rose to the top of the feedlot challenge to take out the honour of being the team which scored the most points over all sections.
Rodney Galati was confident that the single pen he entered in the competition was a good representative of what he and his family were breeding as an ideal animal for a feedlot situation and the numbers spoke for themselves.
The winning team’s feedlot data had the two steers and heifer record an average induction weight of 334 kilograms (which was 6kg less than the competition average induction weight of 340kg).
At the mid-way mark of the competition collectively they averaged 441kg (an average gain of 107kg each) and were doing 2.03kg/day.
The mid-way average for weight across all the teams in the competition was 419kg and the average daily gain (ADG) was 1.49kg/day.
At the final weigh in, the Galati group team average was 491kg and they were doing 2.07kg/day.
The overall performance figures which made them stand out as the winning team had them recording an overall average weight gain of 157kg each, doing 2.04kg/day and after processing they dressed out at a 254kg average which equated to 52 per cent.
Click on this image to see more photos from the awards night.
Mr Galati said he was surprised with the win but not surprised at how his cattle had performed in the feedlot competition saying that they were exactly the type of animals they bred for their own feedlot at Brunswick.
“The three we entered in this competition came out of a line of cattle that were of exactly the same type and breeding and they were all heading into the feedlot to do the same thing,” he said.
The Galatis seem to be on a winning streak these past few weeks with the family being notified of their third place in the carcase competition at Beef 2015 in Rockhampton, Queensland, as well as finishing first in class two (230-285kg) of the Harvey Agricultural Show’s carcase competition three weeks ago.
Like the majority of farmers in the Brunswick area, the Galatis were originally dairy farmers.
They also ran their own feedlot and small beef herd.
Five years ago they quit the dairy industry, increased their breeder numbers and are solely focused on their breeding and feedlot enterprise.
“We run about 340 breeders which are predominantly Angus and Angus-Friesian,” he said.
“We use Charolais and Limousin bulls and over the years we have sourced from studs such as White Lakes, Aldgate and Lysgorran Limousin studs and the Downunder Charolais stud.”
The Galatis run about 2000 head through their feedlot each year and supply mainly Goodchild’s as well as Borello’s and Harvey Beef.
The team which came runner up overall in the competition was from RF Pugh & Co, Narrikup, with Gelbvieh red composites that were bred using the Pugh’s own Summit Gelbvieh stud genetics.
Summit Gelbvieh stud principal John Pugh said the competition was a useful tool in which to compare breeds and their various traits but in his view it was clear from the resulting data that the Euro-crosses have considerably better dressing percentage, growth and performance than the British breeds.
“There is a direct link between dressing percentage and profitability with more carcase weight/better meat yield which when valued fairly could easily mean $100 or more of saleable meat per animal,” he said.
“While the British breeds experienced a better MSA score there are no rewards for this in terms of dollars.
“Based on the results of this competition from what I can see the extensive Breedplan figures of breeds like Angus did not translate into improved profitability.”
In terms of raw feedlot data, the RF Pugh & Co team had a group average induction weight of 347kg (which was 7kg above the competition average of 340kg).
At the mid-way mark of the competition, they averaged 445kg (the competition average was 419kg) and at the final weigh in they averaged 496kg (competition average was 458kg).
Subsequently the team had put on an average of 1.94kg/day which equated to a gain of 149kg average per animal.
After processing, the Gelbvieh composite team averaged a carcase weight of 257kg which was a dressing percentage of 52pc.
Harvey Beef general manager and major sponsor of the event Wayne Shaw said the company was very keen to support the feedlot industry and that there is an increasing demand for grainfed beef.
“The quality of WA beef is widely renowned as being some of the best in Australia,” he said.
“WA producers are consistently turning out a high quality product and this is becoming more apparent in the demand we are getting both locally and in export.
“We have been very pleased to be the major sponsors for this worthwhile event and congratulate the competitors on a very high standard right across the competition.”
Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate challenge co-ordinator Allison Watson was very pleased with how the competition went and thanked the Gate 2 Plate committee and sponsors for their support.
“We hope that this competition has provided producers with valuable feedback and information on the performance of their cattle,” she said.
p For a copy of the full data report and for future sponsorship opportunities please contact the Gate to Plate committee via email email@example.com g.au.