A TEAM of Australian Beef Composites from Hicks Beef, Holbrook, has taken out grand champion pen of five in the 2021 NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial.
Marking the Hicks family's second overall win of the trial, the results were announced during the virtual presentation evening hosted on The Land and Stock & Land websites tonight.
Feedback trial analyst, Jeff House of Jeff House Livestock, Forbes, said this year the entry weight was increased as the steers would not treated with hormone growth promotants (HGPs).
The entry weight for 2021 was 360 kilograms to 480 kilograms, and no P8 fat measurements were taken at induction due to COVID-19.
There was a 91 per cent compliance in induction weight, with 2pc under and 7pc over weight.
The average daily gain was 1.67 kilograms per head per day, which was significantly down compared to the 2020 trial where steers gained on average 2.3kg/hd/day.
The ADG of the cattle ranged from 0.4 to 2.5kg/hd/day, which again was down from 0.6 to 3.2kg/hd/day last year.
Mr House said the non-HGP had a really big impact.
"We've had steady gains since 2012, above 2kg/hd/day on average, and often cattle gain better then 3kg/hd/day," he said.
"Taking the HGP out didn't affect the bottom end where some animals may have had other underlying issues, but it did very much take the top off."
Mr House said as you might expect when we look at carcase compliance with the lower weight gain and slight increase in entry weight, we did end up with a lot of carcases that were at the lighter end and outside broad specifications.
"Purely for carcase weight we had 59pc of carcase fell within broad specifications," he said.
"And 92pc met the broad P8 fat requirements. Overall that is a 54pc compliance to our broad specifications."
But only 9pc of carcases fell within the optimum weight and 52pc for fat, resulting only 5pc total receiving full points for hitting the optimum carcase specifications of a 370 to 400 kilogram carcase with 12 to 20 millimetres of fat.
"41pc of carcases were under the broad weight specifications," he said.
"Comparing this year to previous, we have ended up with the lightest carcases we have ever seen in the trial.
"Not as much variation within the whole spread, but the lightest carcases."
Lean meat yield was similar to last year, 55.5pc with a big spread of 47pc to 65pc.
Not treating the cattle with HGP resulted in the MSA Index scores to increase.
This year the average jumped eight points, with an average MSA index of 62.7 across the steers. Last year the average MSA Index was 54.5.
"This is because we weren't penalised for using a HGP rather than us seeing an increase in marbling," he said.
Steers had on average an AUS-MEAT marble score 1.5 (MSA 388), similar to last year, with the highest marbling carcase hitting an AUS-MEAT marble score 5.
Only one animal was an un-grade, with only 2mm of P8 fat and 1mm of rib fat.
Almost half (47pc) hit the Riverine Premium Beef brand, up from 42pc last year.
"We've had a slight drop in the Teys Certified Premium Black Angus brand to 8pc from 12pc last year," he said.
"And 44pc went into the Riverine Classic Beef Brand."
Mr House said there was a large variation in profitability with a $4080 variation in team profit or $815 per head. These figures included deads.
The health of the steers was very good. Five animals died from injury or bloat, none of them were respiratory related.
Annual exhibitors since the trial's inception, Andrew and Anne Hicks, along with their son Tom and his wife Kate, entered two teams in the competition.
Their overall champion pen were clear winners with a score of 805 points from a possible 1000.
They were also feedlot performance champions (305 points), and reserve champions in the carcase section (404 points).
The Hicks' other team placed fourth overall on 689.5 points.
Reserve champion pen went to Kyeamba Downs Partnership, Wagga Wagga, with their team of Angus steers that scored 740 points.
They also received the Teys Certified Premium Black Angus Champion Pen award, and were the reserve champion feedlot performance pen (255).
Victorian based entrants Barfold Beef, Barfold, placed third overall on 731.5 points with their Angus team.
This team was also the champion carcase pen, receiving 404 points from a possible 500, and reserve champion Teys Certified Premium Black Angus pen.
Fifth place went to Coolie Angus stud, Merriwa, with a team of Angus steers on 684.5 points.
Coolie Angus' team was also named the Riverine Premium Beef Champion Pen, ahead of the reserve champion Riverine Premium Beef pen from Wantabadgery Pastoral Co Pty, Ltd, Wantabadgery (655 points).
A Charolais British cross team from Millner Ag, Geurie Homestead, Geurie placed sixth with 683.5 points.
Last year's winning entrants, RG Allen & Sons, Mortlake, Vic, scored 682 points for their pen of Angus and placed seventh overall.
Willis Bros Farming at Yerong Creek were eighth with their Shorthorn team on 668.5 points.
A second team from Barfold Beef, Vic, received ninth with a score of 663.5.
Rounding up the top ten was CP & PG Stonestreet of Barry, with an Angus team on 656 points.
Winners of the eating quality awards were Mitch and Susie Crawford of Baringa Pastoral Company Pty Ltd, Walcha with an average MSA Index of 65.56.
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