Dear Cattle Breeder,
My Grandfather purchased his first stud cows in 1953 and for the last 63 years we have marketed our bulls off farm. This year will see us hold our first on property sale on Wednesday, September 13 at 11.30am here at Millmerran.
There were a number of reasons for this decision. Carting 50+ bulls to Jackson and presenting them in a way that we are proud of has become increasingly difficult particularly with a pasture fed (no grain) feeding regime. Our breeding priorities have changed and we need to be able to explain and promote these changes without compromise. We believe we can offer better service to our clients from a home sale and we look forward to building better relationships.
This change will make our sale more difficult for some of you to attend and the distance you will have to travel will be much greater. To thank you for making the effort to attend our sale we will take care of the transport of your purchases to your door anywhere in Queensland or New South Wales. For those who can’t make it on the day we will also offer an on-line bidding option through Elite Auctions (details follow) where you can make your selections using video footage, EBVs and live weights, or drop in at any time prior to the sale, make your selections and bid online in real time.
Reid family, Nagano, Japan, 2016.
Breeding cattle needs to become more targeted.
While we all like to breed cattle that are pleasing to the eye, feedlotters and processors will increasingly demand measurable performance, and unless we match that performance we will be left out.
Our job is to provide genetics that will help you achieve your goals and prepare for the future. While our bulls are of a type, the sire lines are quite different genetically and offer quite different options to your breeding program. We make judgements on the strengths of these genetics based on data collected and analysed through Breedplan.
I’d like to share some thoughts on market signals and how our cattle can help you prepare for the future.
The New England Hereford group organised a trip to Whyalla feedlot on May 25 which I was fortunate to be able to attend. Whyalla always impresses me with its’ cleanliness, the quality of its’ livestock and the openness of the management team. Greg Krarup, livestock manager at Whyalla, had organised a number of speakers including Greg Simmonds, International Sales NH Foods. Mr Simmonds manages NH Foods Hereford Reserve Brand which is marketed into Italy. The only thing limiting the growth of this brand is the supply of EU feeder steers. The quality of the product is excellent and the market is looking for a breed based brand which is as good as, but not an Angus brand. Hereford product offers the point of difference that the market is looking for, we just have to supply the cattle. Building Hereford brands, while the markets are strong, will create demand and price security when the market corrects.
During the meeting I asked Greg Krarup about the competitiveness of Australian product overseas. He said price did not seem to be a limiting factor for high quality brands and that they kept finding more markets for high quality grainfed beef.
If the Hereford breed is to continue to be part of the quality end of the market, we have to realise that competing breeds are continually improving their product and we have to do the same or be left behind.
I quizzed Greg on the traits that he thought the Hereford breed needed to concentrate on to improve its performance ín his feedlot. His answer- GROWTH and MARBLING.
Growth- we all make money out of growth, the breeder, backgrounder and feedlot operator. We all are paid on weight. Unlike marbling, weight and growth can be judged by eye to a large extent.
Marbling- This is where the feedlot makes money and this is where the branded beef products develop their reputation for quality and consistency. Hereford Reserve, and all high quality brands require marble score 2 or better. This is where we, the seedstock producers, have failed the Hereford breed.
The average IMF (marbling) EBV for the Hereford breed has gone from 0.0 to 0.3 in 20 years and all of this progress has been made by a handful of producers. The majority of bull breeders are going backwards when it comes to marbling.
41 of our sale bulls this year are above breed average for marbling culminating in Lot 26 whose IMF EBV is +2.3, nearly 8 times breed average. Lot 26 has a Grain Fed Index of $181, which theoretically makes him the number 1 Hereford bull born in Australia during 2015 for producing feeder steers.
Don’t get caught up in using raw IMF scans to select for marbling as you will make little or no progress. These scans are heavily influenced by feeding regimes and the social status of an individual bull eg does he fight, has he been ridden, is his head always in a feeder, does he pace the fence or has he had a setback. It is only when his scan is combined with those of his siblings, particularly his sisters, and those of his parents in the form of an EBV that we get a value which can give us genetic gain.
DEXA technology seems to be more of a case of when, not if. When selling direct to works we will receive DEXA feedback which will give percentages of meat, fat and bone for all individual animals. Under muscled, poor yielding animals carrying too much fat will be penalised. Breedplan has an EBV which can help you increase the yield of your cattle, and while we can all probably look at 2 animals and guess at their comparative yields, the Retail Beef Yield EBV quantifies this difference. Retail Beef Yield is calculated when we do our 400 days scans and compares eye muscle area to weight and fat cover to come up with a yield estimation.
This year we have the 3 top bulls in Australia for Retail Beef Yield in our sale. Lot 16 is the number 1 bull for the year at +3.7 and Lots 14 and 15 come in equal second at +3.3. We are proud to be able to offer the very best genetics in the country to our commercial clients.
H Victor 0136 Sire of Lots 14,15 and 16
Fertility is the number one profit driver in a beef cattle operation and home bred sire Talbalba Wallace H83 ticks all the boxes. “Wally” is sired by South Bukalong Wallace from a Northend X061 daughter, our 2 leading lines for calving ease and fertility. Wally completes the equation with growth in the top 5% of the breed, muscle in the top 15%, marbling in the top 5%, impeccable temperament and true Hereford cosmetics. Wally has 12 sons in the sale and will have a huge influence on our herd.
Other high marbling sires represented: Devon Court Advance F052 (last years leading sire), 11 sons; Mawarra Black Heart 8, and Kanimbla Victorious 8.
Please contact us if you would like to have a look at our operation, visitors are always welcome!
ELITE LIVESTOCK AUCTIONS
Bid remotely on Talbalba bulls with Elite Livestock Auctions.
Simply go to elitelivestockauctions.com.au become a member for free and start bidding.
You will be able to bid in real time with pre-recorded footage and live audio of each lot on screen.
Come and inspect the bulls at your convenience any time prior to the sale and operate in the comfort of your home or in any location on your smart phone.