THE opportunity to compete in the Charolais Silver Calf competition at last week’s Elders Boyanup special weaner sale resulted in an outstanding yarding of Charolais-sired calves and a price rise of 20 cents a kilogram on previous sales.
The competition was sponsored by WA Charolais breeders and aimed to help highlight the benefits the breed could offer WA beef producers.
Buyers responded accordingly with steer prices reaching heights of $1290 and the heifers making $1137.
The competition was held for the best pen of six or more, either steers or heifers, demonstrating the Charolais characteristics that influence profitability.
The total prize pool was worth more than $1700 and the winner received a $200 merchandise voucher donated by Elders, $500 cash and a $500 bull sale credit from the WA Charolais Society.
Second place received $300, third $200 and a large hamper was awarded as the lucky vendor prize.
The 22 pens were scored out of 100 points, giving a maximum of 40 points for evenness, 30 points for shape/muscling, 15 points for presentation, 10 points for judges’ discretion and five points for temperament.
Brunswick beef producer Rodney Galati had the challenge of judging the 205 calves nominated by the seven vendors.
A pen of 13 Charolais-Angus cross steers exhibited by Gavin Russell, Callanish Grazing, Thompsons Brook, came out on top.
The 385 kilogram youngsters were given 88 points overall and Mr Galati said they were the most uniform of the groups.
“They were exceptionally even and had plenty of length and depth to them,” he said.
“The calves had a lot of growth potential and I believe would suit almost any market.”
The quality calves were purchased by local Landmark agent Chris Waddingham for $1272 and 330c/kg.
A similar line of 13 heifers nominated by the Thompsons Brook operation placed third.
The line of Charolais-Angus cross females scored 86 points, weighed 315kg and during the sale was snapped up by Mr Galati for a undisclosed buyer at $990 and 314c/kg.
Only a point behind the first place getter was a very impressive draft of seven Charolais cross steers trucked in by J & LM Kirkham, Pinjarra.
Mr Galati said the line deserved a high mention for their exceptional quality.
“They were right up there with the Callanish Grazing pen and the quality demonstrated the Kirkhams are on the right track breeding-wise,” he said.
The soft-bodied calves averaged 367kg and during the sale sold to Mr Waddingham for $1219 and 332c/kg.
The Callanish cattle sold strongly with one of its heifer lines selling as replacement breeders.
Eleven heifers weighing 351kg were quickly secured by Mardella cattle breeder Gerald Bergsma, Amaroo Blondes, who was willing to pay to a top of $1137, and 324c/kg for them.
A pen of 15 Charolais weaner females weighing 329kg from CA & SJ Jones, Donnybrook, weren’t overlooked and sold as breeder types to Harris Beef Enterprises, Dardanup, for $1032 and 314c/kg.
The steer run saw the initial draft of J & LM Kirkham’s seven averaging 411kg reach $1290 and 314c/kg, while P & S Griggs, Collie, sold a line of six Charolais crosses weighing 379kg which went Mr Waddingham’s way at $1228 and 324c/kg.
Mr Galati said the Charolais-sired calves sold well with prices up 20c/kg compared to the previous day’s trade sale.
“Breeders put forward quality pens and they were rewarded for their efforts as there was good, honest competition upon them,” he said.
“The WA Charolais breeders must be commended for taking this kind of initiative to promote their breed.
“The Charolais cross calves are getting recognised and today it was obvious they were sought after by lotfeeders, shippers and there was also some grazier support.
“I look forward to supporting the next Silver Calf competition on Wednesday, January 3, hosted by Landmark.”