While the Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial operates with a healthy sense of competition between entrants, the real victory for producers is the unparalleled access to quality feedback.
Livestock analyst, Jeff House, collated and reviewed this year’s results to provide comparisons to prior years across the three competition categories and their impacts on profitability.
Mr House said the average weight of cattle coming onto feed was about 410 kilograms.
“The average weight of cattle coming in was actually the highest value we had seen in the last few years.
“In the first two years the entry weights were higher but at that time we gave a higher point value to heavier cattle. The average entry weight this year was on par with other years.
“The ranges of cattle weight at entry was tighter than we had seen in the last handful of years,” he said.
The performance of cattle in feedlot conditions was back slightly on the two previous strong years but still a very positive result.
“We saw an average of 2.1 kg per day as the average weight gain across the entries.
“Two years ago the average was 2.25kg, which was a really incredible result for a whole group of cattle like that.
“The majority of the cattle are doing 1.5kg a day and the best of the bunch are hitting up towards 2.7kg a day,” Mr House said.
Across the board, carcase weight results were more even than in previous years, however average carcase weights were down from last year’s result.
“The average carcase weight was 350kg this year which was less than we had seen in the past.”
“About 69 per cent of the cattle sat within the broad carcase specifications from 330 to 400kg carcase weight and from 10 to 32 millimetres of fat.
“Nine per cent of the cattle got into the optimum carcase specifications which is from 370 to 400kg carcase weight with four to 20mm of fat.”
One of the most interesting things to come out of the trial was the difference in profitability between teams.
“One team lost two animals, so we dropped them out of the analysis. However, there was still a $3000 variation in profit from the best performing team to the bottom.
“Across five steers, that works out at over $600 difference in profit per head.”
“We have seen that weight gain is a real driver of profitability. Weight gain in the feedlot accounts for 80pc of profit variability between teams,” he said.