Hereford steers with known performance and potential to hit the market specifications for the Coles GRAZE grass-fed program were on the shopping list for one southern NSW producer.
Will Cotterill, Mountain Creek, accompanied by his agent Phil Gledhill, Elders Holbrook, targeted the Mountain Calf Sales, to source suitable autumn drop weaners to grow out for the program.
They like the breed’s average daily gain off grass, adequate fat cover and carcase traits.
Mr Cotterill was chasing steers weighing 350-370kg liveweight to finish on improved pastures at 18 to 20 months of age.
“We have been in the Coles program for quite a few years and can budget on the good, consistent prices,” he said.
“We have bought 70 steers here at Ensay will grab another 70 at Omeo, along with the steers bought out of Benambra.
“We come here every year and stick to the genetics we know will perform.”
Mr Cotterill exclusively supplies Coles GRAZE with around 700 steers a year.
He said recent average daily gains amongst a British bred mob was 1.3kg off Sudan grass.
Mr Gledhill estimated the purchase price at 430-440c/kg for steers at Benambra, stepping up another 20c/kg at Ensay and Omeo.
The Coles GRAZE grass fed standards cover feed and water, traceability, animal welfare and handling. Cattle must be strictly pasture fed and free of hormonal growth promotants.
He said the specifications for the Coles program were 220-330kg carcase weight.
“We like the Herefords as they do finish with a good fat cover and we tend to get them out a bit earlier so the cattle we are sourcing today are not so much those leggy types but good, long steers with shape to fit the Coles GRAZE program for late winter onwards,” he said.
“If you want to buy good Herefords you need to go either to the Western District or the High Country for those good runs of Herefords you can put your teeth into.”