The ability of Angus genetics from the Laurie family, Knowla Livestock, Gloucester, to fatten and finish quickly within market specifications was clear to see in the Merriwa Feedlot Trial.
The Laurie family selected two teams of steers for the competition and walked away as the overall runner up and highest weight gain award winners. Despite being from their commercial herd, their competition cattle were sired by some of the stud's leading genetics.
It was their team representing Dunoon Kind K1354, Knowla Jimmy Bartel J4 and Knowla Govener G102 who performed ahead of the pack and had an average daily gain of 2.35kg/day compared with the overall competition average of 1.82kg/day.
Knowla's second pen of steers placed ninth overall for average daily gain at 1.96kg/day and first overall for MSA Index at 59.7 while their clients Josh and Penny Evans came third with 2.13kg/day and fellow clients Stone Mountain Pastoral Company were fifth at 2.02kg/day. Knowla breed for the feeder steer market and spend time tracking their cattle's performance through feedlots when they are on-sold.
"We breed for the longer fed feeder market," Knowla's James Laurie said.
"We spend a fair bit of time at weaning making sure they are taught to bunk feed and feedlot acclimatised. I'm pretty sure that helps us when we get our steers over there."
The Laurie family had entered the trial many times before and in 2017 were awarded highest profitability for their pen averaging $212/head.
This year they placed second averaging $303/head. Mr Laurie said it proved that producers were entering better steers.
"We want a fair amount of growth but not extreme growth," he said.
"They have still got to be able to mature and fatten and finish in that short time period. The fact we have got adequate growth but still have that early maturity so they finish in carcase specs is pleasing."