Charolais calves featured at the Boyanup weaner sale last week for the Western Region Charolais Society's 'Silver Calf' competition.
The competition was the second of a three-leg program throughout Western Australia, with 'Silver Calf' competitions incorporated into Mt Barker, Boyanup and Muchea Livestock Centre weaner sale fixtures.
The Elders and Nutrien Livestock's South West selling teams presented an outstanding yarding of 584 Charolais and Charolais cross steers and heifers - with Elders hosting 85 per cent of the calves.
The quality run of predominantly white and red factor calves were a strong endorsement of the Charolais breed and made for stiff competition for judge and well-known South West commercial cattle breeder and lotfeeder Rodney Galati, Brunswick.
Mr Galati said the line-up of Charolais cattle judged across both agents was full of quality.
"In a market where black cattle are in demand for various jobs, I think vendors, agents and spectators breathed a sigh of relief the Charolais bred cattle are still enough of a fan favourite among lotfeeders, graziers and exporters that they well and truly hold their own," Mr Galati said.
At the completion of judging, Roelands cattle producers Clayton and Carla Minson, C & C Minson, were announced as overall winners of the champion pen.
The winning pen consisted of 11 Charolais-cross calves, which tipped the scales at a 423 kilograms average and later sold to Kalgrains for 230 cents per kilogram to be among the sale's top prices of $970.
The Minson family also took out the Elders double with a pen of 11 Charolais-cross heifers averaging 358kg awarded second place for the Elders section and later sold to export for 190c/kg.
The March to April-drop calves were sired by polled Copplestone Charolais bulls and were out of Angus-Friesian females bred from their 250-head dairy herd.
The Minsons are no strangers to podium finishes in this competition, having previously won the champion pen in 2019 and several second places.
Mr Minson said he has been using Charolais bulls as far back as 2005 when managing properties and farming in his own right since 2009.
"The Charolais cross calves are very easy to sell with their market suitability, lotfeeders and graziers always like to buy them," Mr Minson said.
"The calves always weigh more than other breeds I've used, they have hybrid vigour across our Angus-Friesian cows with good growth rates.
"We only use polled Charolais bulls and Peter and Judy Milton at Copplestone breed good temperament polled bulls.
"Thank you to the Charolais Society and Elders for running the competition and for the prize money."
Mr Galati said it was hard to go past the Minson's Charolais cattle.
"Clayton and Carla did everything right and set a level that others should take on board," he said.
"Their line-up was not only weaned for the sale but they did all the extras.
"Cattle were all polled or dehorned, had all their vaccinations and had no faults with NLIS tagging.
"Many buyers will walk past pens with horns or ask for them to be marked out which is very costly to the vendor for a 20-second job.
"Also after all the years of NLIS, producers still put tags back to front or in the wrong ear which can be a huge frustration with a lot of facilities the cattle end up at having panel readers."
The Nutrien Livestock run of Charolais calves saw Dardanup grazier John Ronzio lead the way in first place with a draft of 12 Charolais-Angus cross steer weaners weighing 376kg.
These sold to a South West lotfeeder for 248c/kg and $933.
The November 6 weaned, January 16 to mid-February drop steers were sired by Elgin Park Charolais bulls and were out of Angus cows.
Mr Ronzio said he switched to using Charolais bulls five years ago and hasn't looked back.
"The Charolais calves are docile and we get the extra weight and muscling," Mr Ronzio said.
He said they take good care of their cattle, going around them daily during calving and every second day and feeding hay twice a week post calving with lick blocks which results in healthy quiet cattle and drafts of calves.
Taking second place in the Nutrien Livestock run was a line of 11 Charolais steers weighing 367kg offered by Pinjarrah Park, Pinjarra, which sold to Kalgrains for 242c/kg.