Hereford and Hereford-cross steers have excelled in the feedlot weight gain phase of the 2021 RNA Paddock to Palate competition.
The competition was first judged in 1998 and incorporates three phases; feedlot weight gain, carcase competition and MSA eating quality, with the overall placings and carcase awards presented at the awards night held in August in conjunction with the Ekka.
Tom Nixon of Devon Court Herefords entered six pens of steers in the 2021 competition and came away with a suite of impressive results in the feedlot weight gain phase of the competition.
Of the six pens of steers, one pen were pure Herefords while the other five pens were black baldy steers sired by Devon Court Hereford bulls out of commercial Angus females.
All six pens of Devon Court steers placed in the top 10 of their respective classes in the competition and several steers placed highly in the individual average daily gain (ADG) placings.
Pens could be entered in either the 100 Day HGP Export, 100 Day HGP Free Export or 70 Day HGP Trade class with an average of 29 pens of six steers entered per class.
Mr Nixon was thrilled to have all six pens of Devon Court steers place highly in a competition that was hotly contested by a number of big producers from several different breeds.
“It’s an industry wide, all breeds competition with industry best breeders from large pastoral companies and the best in the stud game too.
“To be placed in, around and above these producers has been a highlight for us,” Mr Nixon said.
In the 100 Day HGP Free Export class two pens of Devon Court black baldy steers placed fourth and fifth with pen average ADGs of 2.12 and 2.03 kilograms per day.
Individual animals also excelled in this class, coming in at second, fifth, eighth and equal 29th.
The second placed individual animal entered the feedlot weighing 410 kilograms and had a final weight of 658 kilograms with an ADG of 2.48 kilograms.
The fifth placed steer had an entry weight of 377 kilograms and a final weight of 619 kilograms with an ADG of 2.42 kilograms.
The 70 Day HGP Trade class saw Devon Court come home with fourth and 10th place with the crossbred pen averaging 2.72 kilograms and the pure Hereford pen averaging 2.61 kilograms per day.
Individual steers placed at equal third, sixth and 22nd in an extremely strong class which saw all animals inside the top 30 make over 2.77 kilograms per day.
The third placed Devon Court steer had a final weight of 605 kilograms and an ADG of 3.25 kilograms.
In the 100 Day HGP Export Class Devon Court’s two pens of black baldy steers placed at sixth and ninth with ADGs of 2.63 and 2.58 kilograms.
Individual results were again strong, with Devon Court steers placing at third and 12th.
The third placed individual steer entered the feedlot at 429 kilograms and finished at 737 kilograms with an ADG of 3.08 kilograms.
The consistent result across all six pens entered in the competition is what Mr Nixon found most pleasing about their impressive results.
“The beauty of what we did is not just one of our pens made the top 10, but all six,” Mr Nixon said.
According to Mr Nixon the steers entered in the competition represented about 12 different sires from across the Devon Court stud program.
The commercial crossbred steers were all sired by Devon Court bulls, while the purebred pen were out of Devon Court females and sired by Injemira Anzac J188, Glendan Park Lassoo L137 and Devon Court Advance K126.
The purebred pen was entered in order to gain feedback on how the progeny of the different sire lines performed in a commercial situation.
Steers were selected based on paddock weights before being trucked to Beef City Feedlot at Toowoomba for the competition.