Black Diamond fire up Beef Spec rankings

Black Diamond fire up Beef Spec rankings

Beef
Blake and Murray Van der Drift, Black Diamond Speckle Parks, Macorna, Victoria with some of their Speckle Park and Limousin females. Black Diamond went from being ranked 34th last year to 8th this year. Photo: Alastair Dowie

Blake and Murray Van der Drift, Black Diamond Speckle Parks, Macorna, Victoria with some of their Speckle Park and Limousin females. Black Diamond went from being ranked 34th last year to 8th this year. Photo: Alastair Dowie

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Speckle Park stud enters top 10 in feedlot trial

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Black Diamond Speckle Parks managed to jump up the rankings in their second year participating in the NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial.

One of their two Speckle Park cross Angus teams came eighth this year, up from 34th last year, and earning a total of 791.5 points out of 1000. Their second team of Speckle Parks came in 14th place with 778 points.

Black Diamond principal Murray Van der Drift, Macorna, Victoria said he put the improvement down to more consistency and heavier induction weights.

This year they aimed to get their steers to around 400kg-420kg when they entered the feedlot, around 20-25kg heavier than last year.

"It was great this year to fire up the rankings," Mr Van der Drift said.

Mr Van Der Drift said they were particularly happy with how their cattle went in the feedlot performance section, some of their cattle putting on an average of more than three kilograms a day.

"The cattle were lighter in condition this year due to the season but I think once they hit the feed they just kept going," he said.

They also entered a team of Limousin cattle from their stud, Macorna Limousins.

Mr Van der Drift said although their Limo team didn't perform as well overall, they achieved dressing percentages of more than 60 per cent.

The Van der Drifts run both their Speckle Park and Limousin stud alongside a commercial enterprise.

The stud finding the trial a useful tool for benchmarking the performance of the progeny of their Speckle Park and Limousin bulls.

"We're trying to learn what we need to do to better help the feedlots," he said.

"We run up to 110 Speckle Park breeders, 130 registered Limo cows and about 700 commercial Angus cows.

"We're very commercially orientated even within our studs.

"We're all about carcase, a lot of our steers who get sold to the feedlots can be put on short-term feed and then sold out the other end."

Mr Van der Drift said they sent most of their steers to Teys' Charlton feedlot or Bunnaloo.

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