Hereford and Hereford cross steers have demonstrated superior average daily weight gain and MSA Index scores in the 2016 Lardner Park Steer Trial in Victoria.
A Red Angus-Hereford cross steer entered by Michael and Frances Charles, “Shanlee’’, Lardner, ranked number one from 19 breeds and their crosses on the MSA (Meat Standards Australia) Index at 64.19.
This compares to the top 10 per cent MSA Index score for Australian grass fed cattle in the 2015-2016 financial year of 62.79.
The Hereford and Poll Hereford entries, from David Meikle, Tarwin Poll Herefords, Meeniyan, had MSA Index scores of between 62 and 63.
Carcases were judged at JBS Brooklyn processing plant on P8 fat, fat colour, meat colour, rib fat, eye muscle area, ossification, marbling and muscle pH.
These MSA measurements were used to estimate eating quality.
The trial drew 42 entries with steers inducted at a Lardner Park property in June and grass finished as a single mob to a carcass weight of 210-285kg on November 30.
The winners were announced last week.
Beef extension officer Fiona Baker said the trial aimed to help producers understand live steer assessment, market requirements, growth, finishing and to provide a forum for discussion.
The Hereford and Poll Hereford steers recorded average liveweight gains of 1.3-1.4kg/day – above the trial average of 1.2kg/day – and met the grid specifications for rib and rump fat.
The trial’s top carcase was awarded a premium of 630c/kg.
Meanwhile four teams of purebred Hereford steers entered the 2017 NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial.
The 112-day feedlot trial was conducted at Teys Australia’s Jindalee feedlot in southern NSW, and drew 75 teams of 375 cattle comprising 17 different breeds.
A team of five Hereford steers were each entered by Vern, Margaret and Geoff Younger, “Bannockburn’’, Inverell; Ray and Michelle Cheers, Goolgowi, NSW, Greg Tyler, Hill View Herefords, Dorrigo, NSW, and Cheviot Hills Ag, Big Springs, NSW.
In the final results announced last week, a Black Baldy team from Waverley Run, Big Springs, NSW, performed the highest of the Hereford and Hereford cross teams, placing seventh in the feedlot category, 37th in the carcase and 17th overall.
The best performing purebred team was from Cheviot Hills Ag, placing 31st in the feedlot, 64th in the carcase and 49th overall.