Beef Week kicks off on January 29

Advertising Feature – Beef Week 2018

STOCK & Land Beef Week kicks off in just under two weeks’ time, with 196 beef studs currently preparing to open their gates to the public.

The event, held from January 29 – February 6, will see over 5000 bulls of 26 breeds displayed, at properties in Victoria and the Riverina.

Event director Geoff Phillips said many of these bulls will be offered for sale during the field days, as well as at on-property bull sales in the weeks following.

“We expect these studs will display 5000 bulls, and will sell them for [a total of] $35 million during Beef Week, and at annual bull sales held in February and March,” Mr Phillips said.

He said there is a lot of optimism in the industry at the moment.

“I think given the way the beef industry is going, we should have a lot of people out and about during the event,” he said.

“I think the reputation for beef studs in the south-east corner of Australia is really growing, and will see lots more interstate and overseas visitors out for the event.”

He said as well as sale bulls, studs will have other members of their herds on display.

“We encourage studs to put on display some of their breeders, replacement heifers, and their younger bulls, people want to see their entire herd, including the females,” he said.

The RASV Heifer Challenge will again be held this year, with 45 studs entering 10 heifers from their 2016-drop.

Here is a sample of some of our local offerings or you can head to www.stockandland.com.au to find an interactive map of the field days, and to read profiles, and see photos and videos, of some other participating studs. 

Jarobee Angus Stud

Jarobee Angus bloodlines have been achieving some recent successes at the NVLX sales and will open their doors for inspections on February 6.

Jarobee Angus bloodlines have been achieving some recent successes at the NVLX sales and will open their doors for inspections on February 6.

Jarobee will display 40 of their bulls at their Robinson Road, Beechworth complex on day 9 of Beef Week –Tuesday February 6.

“This year Granite Ridge Kaiser will make the journey to Beechworth, where he will proudly represent some of his progeny. Kaiser has had a busy year and managed to hold his condition throughout,” said Jan Robinson. “We are very happy with his offspring, small calves with outstanding growth and thickness.”

All bulls have had a fertility examination and assessment of structural soundness by Dr Shane Thomson from Holbrook Vet Cinic.

“As well the bulls have been scanned and independently assessed by Jim Green from Greens Livestock Services. The temperament of Bulls has been exceptional throughout these procedures.”

Adhering to Jarobee’s strict breeding guidelines has again offered premium returns for producers who have chosen Jarobee Genetics, she said.

“At a recent sale at NVLX Wodonga, five producers offered very large numbers of Jarobee bloodline cattle. The results achieved were notable with pens sired by Jarobee bulls judged ‘the top pen of steers’ as well as ‘the top pen of heifers’.” 

The bulls on display during Beef Week will be offered for sale on March 16. Jarobee is also presenting a pen of 10 Heifers for entry  into the RASV Heifer Challenge at Beef Week.

“With harvest completed and cattle grazing stubbles we are looking forward to our autumn calving and the arrival of some  exciting new  genetics,” said Jan.

Hicks Beef

CCR Boulder 1339A – sire of Hicks Beef autumn sale bulls.

CCR Boulder 1339A – sire of Hicks Beef autumn sale bulls.

The benefits of hybrid vigour are well documented in all animal breeding programs, says Hicks Beef principal Andrew Hicks.

“Virtually all pig and poultry production are based on utilising hybrid vigour,” Mr Hicks said.

“More recently we have seen the increased popularity of composite lamb production. And now the beef industry in the US is reaping the benefits of increased fertility and production as hybrid vigour is implemented in their beef breeding programs.”

He said the establishment of International Genetic Solutions (IGS) to service the growing demand for accurate and reliable performance analysis across multiple breeds of cattle had been a game changer for Hicks Beef as composite cattle breeders. 

Hicks Beef is based at Holbrook and has been involved in breeding cattle for more than 60 years. They run 1200 composite and red angus females. 

“We can now accurately evaluate our breeding program,” he said.

“Selection Indexes make it easy – it may seem confusing, as you wade through a page of 16 various traits, for example you may not know the abbreviation MCE is for Maternal Calving Ease etc.

“All these traits have an economic importance to beef production. But it is hard to weigh up the relative importance of each trait.” 

He said there was a simple answer to this issue – Selection Indexes.  Using complex computer modelling one single value can be calculated as an Economic Index. 

“The IGS Multi Breed figures keep it simple with two indexes,” he said.

“The All-Purpose Index, which calculates the profit for using your bull over angus heifers and cows and keeping the heifers; and the Terminal Index, which calculates your profits when you are selling all the progeny, steers and heifers.”

Hicks Beef is run by Andrew and Anne Hicks together with their son Tom; their property Annandayle South is at Holbrook. They have participated in every Beef Week since the event began. Hicks Beef will be open for Beef Week on Tuesday, January 30. For more information visit their website at www.hicksbeef.com.au

Witherswood Angus

WITHERSWOOD ANGUS: Ian Peake, Joan Woodruff, John Woodruff, Andrew McIntyre ... you're invited to visit the property at Taminick, Glenrowan on February 6.

WITHERSWOOD ANGUS: Ian Peake, Joan Woodruff, John Woodruff, Andrew McIntyre ... you're invited to visit the property at Taminick, Glenrowan on February 6.

The welcome mat will be out at Witherswood Angus for their open day on Tuesday, February 6. 

John and Joan Woodruff invite people to come and visit the Taminick, Glenrowan property between 9am and 5pm on the open day. 

Visitors will see a selection of sale bulls, donor cows and calves, and heifers for the Heifer Challenge. The cow herd is the heart of the Witherswood program and individuals are assessed each year.

“By assessing their structure, performance and EBV’s we are continually lifting the bar to improving the herd,” Mr Woodruff said.

“The bulls offered in this year’s sale are a mixture of powerful cow bulls, and easy fleshing heifer bulls.

“Our open day is a perfect opportunity for interested parties to come and inspect Millah Murrah Kingdom K35, Australian Record breaking Bull, and more excitingly his progeny for sale on March 20th, 2018.”

He said sale bulls by leading industry sires, will be Millah Murrah Klooney K42, Millah Murrah Jackpot J137, Mar Innovation, E F Complement, and Ascot Hallmark H147. 

There will also be a selection of their elite donor cows and heifers for the Beef Week challenge. 

“Each year we AI our Heifers using fixed time AI, the last two years we have had a 70 per cent and 64 per cent AI pregnancy rate to heifers joined,” he said. 

“The cows we use heat detection, instead of fixed time and results have been between 73 per cent and 90 per cent with one round of AI over the last four years.”

Rangan Charolais

SUCCESS STORY: One of the 50 Rangan sale bulls that will be on display for Beef Week. The stud's 9th on-property bull sale will be held on March 8 this year.

SUCCESS STORY: One of the 50 Rangan sale bulls that will be on display for Beef Week. The stud's 9th on-property bull sale will be held on March 8 this year.

Beef Week is an important date on the calendar for the Cook family of Rangan Charolais. 

They believe it gives their clients and prospective clients the opportunity to come to the Charleroi property to inspect their stud herd. 

Graeme Cook said the low-stress environment allowed visitors to get up close to the cattle as well as spending their time discussing the individual needs of their breeding programs. 

The Cooks use their own Charolais bulls in a cross breeding program to proof the genetics themselves, "so we have a very good handle on what works in commercial cattle herds", Mr Cook said.

These ultimately make up most of their bull sales. 

"Bulls are also sold for stud use, but the mainstay and focus of the business is results for our commercial clients, who turn up every year to access the Rangan genetics," he said.

"The Rangan herd is one of the only Charolais herds to have a 'five-star' rating from Breedplan, which means that they record the maximum amount of information on every calf born."

There will be about 50 bulls displayed at Beef Week while their 9th on property bull sale will follow on March 8.

“It surprises visitors to have bulls weighing up to 800kg at 18 months of age that have been weaned at four to six months of age and only fed a diet of grass,” Mr Cook said.

The Cooks believe a lot of the stud’s success is concentrating on the quality of their female herd. The stud runs more than 200 registered females, with every female being synchronised for artificial insemination for one round and then a backup bull is used to cover any returns, as well as an ET program to multiply the best genetics. They will have heifers on display at Beef Week after being a finalist in the 2017 Heifer Challenge as well as displaying the last two Supreme Charolais exhibits from the 2016 & 2017 Royal Melbourne Shows.

Beechworth Poll Hereford stud Rosstulla

BEECHWORTH COUNTRY: Wrattenbullie Jolly out with some of the Rosstulla cows. Rex Forrest also pictured.

BEECHWORTH COUNTRY: Wrattenbullie Jolly out with some of the Rosstulla cows. Rex Forrest also pictured.

Beechworth Poll Hereford stud Rosstulla, which is operated by the Forrest family, is once again participating in Beef Week and will be open on February 6.

They have taken part in all Beef Weeks except two. 

One they missed due to family illness and the other they had to withdraw on the day due to bushfires in the district. South Australian sire Wrattenbullie Jolly and some of his progeny will be on display on the day and a couple of his sons will be available for sale. 

“Jolly has developed into a magnificent bull and we are pleased with the way he is breeding for us,” stud principal Rex Forrest said. 

“I have selected some surplus females to offer for sale and they will be reasonably priced to create an opportunity for new or small breeders.”

“It has been great to see the industry benefit from good prices due to beef shortages in the US.

“I believe that whilst the prices have come back a little of late, they seemed to have stabilised and I am hoping that this is where they will stay for some time to come.” 

Mr Forrest said the overseas demand for Australia’s green, clean, fresh meat continued to grow and markets seem to be prepared to pay a reasonably fair price for it.

“We encourage producers to get out and visit the breeders who are opening during Beef Week,” Mr Forrest said.

“It is a great opportunity for you to visit all breeds and have a no-obligation look at different breeding programs and talk to the breeders. 

“We always welcome visitors and look forward to showing off the results of our breeding program.” 

Keep reading below – in the meantime, this business feature has also been supported by:

Rennylea

Rennylea's Ruth Corrigan and Lachlan Ayoub, Zoetis Animal Genetics, inspecting two-year-old heifers which have been genotyped with the i50K genotyping test.

Rennylea's Ruth Corrigan and Lachlan Ayoub, Zoetis Animal Genetics, inspecting two-year-old heifers which have been genotyped with the i50K genotyping test.

It was three years ago when a trip to the USA changed the future for Rennylea’s Bryan and Lucinda Corrigan.

The couple attended the Beef Improvement Federation conference in Mississippi, USA, where papers presented showed the maturity of genomic technology in the United States’ research community, the growing commercial applications and the progress in adoption in the major beef breeds.

This gave them the confidence to start a major investment in genomics in the Rennylea herd. 

The first full drop they tested was the K bulls born in 2014. When the results came back, instead of having about 10 bulls to select as back-up bulls for the spring mating in 2015, this number increased to 50, which met the Rennylea breeding goal.

Rennylea has since tested the following three drops.

“We wanted to make sure that we had genotypes tested throughout our pedigrees,” said Lucinda. 

“We tested all our donor cows and sires originally, and now we have added the complete drop of calves each year. This is giving us greater accuracy at a young age, greater confidence for our own breeding program, and that of our clients.

“We are the largest user of genomic testing in the Angus breed in Australia.”

Given the size of the investment, Lucinda searched for companies to collaborate with and analyse the Rennylea data. 

They formed a research company within Rennylea assisted by their accountant at Wodonga. The next step was to form partnerships with DNA test provider Zoetis and livestock geneticists at CSIRO at Armidale.

They also collaborate with the Angus Australia progeny test program and have had more than 15 bulls progeny tested through the Beef Information Project.

Recently Rennylea was awarded an Innovations Connections Grant in partnership with CSIRO and lead scientist Dr Sonja Dominik.

“Dr Dominik and I are excited about forging this partnership with our national research agency. 

“We have some key questions we are asking, such as what is the value of the additional accuracy of genomically testing animals when they are very young.”

Brewer Beef

SUCCESS STORY: Tara and David Brewer with their sons Henry and Austin at the Tallangatta Valley property. Their black simmentals are known for their quiet, easy-care nature. Picture: EMMA MOYLE

SUCCESS STORY: Tara and David Brewer with their sons Henry and Austin at the Tallangatta Valley property. Their black simmentals are known for their quiet, easy-care nature. Picture: EMMA MOYLE

The picturesque Tallangatta Valley is home to a growing success story. 

BrewerBeef black simmentals are attracting much attention with recent sale success and participation in an international project.

David and Tara Brewer will have their sale bulls on display at their Beef Week open day on February 6. 

It’s been a busy year for the Brewers, with a first-time exhibit at Henty Machinery Field Days and they were now members of the American Simmental Association.

Tara said they were taking part in the association’s Cow Herd DNA Roundup project and were going to genotype their breeding females.

“Ours will be one of the first Australian herds to be fully genotyped,” Tara said.

“The genotyping gives us more accurate information on the individual cow’s performance. We are the really excited about that. That information will go into the largest cattle database in the world.” 

David said more of their clients every year were joining their heifers to selected calving ease black simmental bulls with outstanding results. 

“Clients are delighted with easier calving periods with more live calves that get up and grow.”  He said the black simmental was known for its quiet, easy-handling nature.

BrewerBeef also performed well at the January 10 Corcoran Parker Blue Ribbon weaner sale at NVLX. Tara said there were more than 200 BrewerBeef blood calves, combined with other clients, at the sale.

“Our calves (9-10 mths) weighed 426 kilograms and made $1285 a head,” she said.

Merlewood Angus

Merlewood Angus principals Daniel and Anne Marie Barrow will host visitors to their property as part of Beef Week on Sunday, February 4 for a pre-sale preview.

Merlewood Angus principals Daniel and Anne Marie Barrow will host visitors to their property as part of Beef Week on Sunday, February 4 for a pre-sale preview.

A dream became reality at Merlewood Angus last year as it hosted its Inaugural Autumn Bull Sale on the magical property.

Merlewood is nestled in the rolling green hills of the Strzlecki Ranges.

Proud to be bringing leading industry black angus stud bulls to the heart of Gippsland, Merlewood Angus owners Anne Marie and Daniel Barrow cannot wait for their second autumn bull sale, which they hope will be just as sensational. 

Merlewood Angus has 35 registered black angus bulls to go under the hammer on Friday, March 23 at noon on property. 

"There is sure to be a bull to suits everyone’s breeding program," Anne Marie said.

Proud participants once again of Beef Week, Merlewood Angus will host visitors Sunday, February 4 for a pre-sale preview.

"The pre-sale open day is a great opportunity to have a long, leisurely look at the 2018 Autumn Sale Bulls – take notes; draw up a shortlist and even take photos to jog your memory," Anne Marie said.

"In addition to the black angus bulls themselves being in the bull pens for your viewing, the Merlewood Angus team will be available on the day for consultation on all your breeding queries."

Anne Marie, Daniel, farm manager Luke Buchanan and external breed consultant Willie Milne will all be available on the day to answer questions.

"This is a great opportunity to spend one-on-one time asking the right questions to enable the Merlewood Angus team to advise you which bull(s) they think would best suit your individual breeding program and farm beef business goals for the year ahead," Anne Marie said.

She said following leading industry best practice, all bulls are fully vaccinated and independently structurally assessed and examined for breeding soundness (fertility). 

All bulls come with a 12-month guarantee and Merlewood Angus encourage open communication at all times. 

Merlewood Angus are full members of Angus Australia. They will arrange the transfer of registration of all sold black angus stud bulls to your name. For further information – and to register for a sales catalogue – visit their website at www.merlewoodangus.com.au. Or phone Anne Marie and Daniel on 0425 862 941.

Alpine Angus

STRONG PRESENCE: Coonamble Hector, WDCH249, the sire of the $190,000 Australian record-priced heifer. Alpine Angus will open for Beef Week on February 6.

STRONG PRESENCE: Coonamble Hector, WDCH249, the sire of the $190,000 Australian record-priced heifer. Alpine Angus will open for Beef Week on February 6.

Strong growth traits and a balanced set of figures are the focus for Rosewhite stud Alpine Angus. 

The stud concentrates very heavily on structure, type and temperament, with high 400 and 600-day growth figures.

Stud principal Jim Delany said Alpine Angus had been participating in Beef Week for more than 15 years. This year Alpine will have a selection of its March 6 autumn sale bulls on display, along with some females, at the Alpine Sale Complex, 1138 Happy Valley Rd, Rosewhite. 

Alpine manager Chris Oswin said: “The Beef Week open day is about five weeks before our autumn sale. We are also holding a field day at Rosewhite on 21 February.

“Both days give clients the opportunity to look at the Alpine sale bulls and talk to the team about bulls that will suit their operations.” 

Mr Oswin said the key to the Alpine Angus breeding program was selecting sires to complement the strong female herd. 

“We introduce high performance sires when we can, but we don’t just put the highest numbers in a sire over highest numbers in a female – just for the sake of getting high sets of numbers,” he said.

“We prefer a balanced breeding approach across the herd, selecting traits to complement each side.”

Included in the 2018 sale will be 10 bulls by Coonamble Hector H249, who was bred by Murray and Craig Davis at Coonamble Angus, Bremer Bay, Western Australia. Hector was the sire of $190,000 heifer Millah Murrah Prue M4, who set a new Australian Angus record at the Millah Murrah sale in October this year.

Mr Oswin said Hector was a low birthweight strong-bodied bull, with excellent docility “and throws a very consistent type. He is not the biggest growth bull going around but excels in producing high quality cattle with true Angus characteristics.

“He has only had progeny in three sales to date, topping two of them and producing the 2nd and 3rd highest priced bulls in the other.” 

​Genetic diversity increased following the acquisition of key Welcome Swallow females and genetics in 2015, with Welcome Swallow principals Jim and Suzy Martin joining the team.  Mr Delany said there had been 100% clearance at all sales over the past three years, reflecting the consistency and depth of breeding in the bulls offered.