CATTLE sourced from Paraway Pastoral Co’s Burindi Station near Barraba on the NSW New England have earned the major award at the 2017 Elders Killara feedlot supplier of the Year awards announced on Friday.
Burindi collected the overall supplier of the year award calculated across four main criteria important to the feedlot’s performance. The cattle topped the marbling performance section, and were good all-round performers in animal health and growth rate.
Killara Feedlot held its second annual Supplier of the Year Awards in Tamworth, recognising top performing cattle suppliers for 2017. More than 120 suppliers attended the awards event from across NSW.
The gathering also included an information day to demonstrate new systems set to benefit suppliers.
Burindi is a central component to Paraway Pastoral’s cattle breeding operations in Northern NSW. Purchased in 2008, the 8330ha holding breeds Angus cattle. The nearby Wiranya property, comprising 1620ha, was purchased and added to the operation in 2016.
Burindi is in a 700mm average annual rainfall zone, and has a carrying capacity of around 70,000 DSE. Its pastures are a diverse mix of annual and perennial native and introduced pasture species, with forage crops to cover the winter feed gap. With double frontage to the Manilla River and bordered by Barraba Creek, the property is consistently and effectively watered.
Cattle producers supplying Killara were recognised in Friday’s awards across four key categories of excellence, over mid-fed Angus steers:
- Growth (average daily gain)
- Animal health
- Marbling performance, and
- Overall supplier of the year.
The results were gathered through Killara’s new IT system, providing feedback and benchmarking more than 80,000 cattle annually.
Other divisional winners included:
- ADG Award for Growth – B & K Hanigan, Coonamble
- Steer Health Award – Betrola Pastoral Co, Coolah
- Marbling Award – Paraway Pastoral Co, Burindi, Barraba.
Killara feedlot trading manager Andrew Talbot said the newly-installed IT system system was an important tool for management of the feedlot, to best understand how cattle are performing and in particular whose cattle are providing the best results for the yard.
“The new system tracks vendors, as well as individual animals and groups of cattle. The information gathered provides data on weight gain, feed conversion, health, market suitability, MSA, marbling and yield,” Mr Talbot said.
The new benchmarking system provided a point of difference against many other feedlots, with combined MSA and abattoir data.
“Most producers appreciate feedback on their cattle and the new feedback and benchmarking system enables this, providing current and useful data the producer can use to better select genetics,” Mr Talbot said.
“For backgrounders of cattle, the feedback system allows suppliers to track back cattle to point of breeding to see how different groups of cattle have performed. We have received lots of positive feedback from producers on the new system, so whilst it’s early days it’s fair to say its exceeded expectations so far,” he said.
Using the information from the system, Killara’s annual Supplier of the Year awards focus on Angus steers fed for a 150 days, with all the steers being HGP-free – now the largest of the five programs running at Killara.
“The no HGP Angus midfed program commenced in 2012 from a small base and has grown into our largest program, delivering more than 600 Angus steers per week,” Mr Talbot said.
“To run a data-set for feedback and benchmarking, you get to see the performance gains made over the last few years.”
“The results from the cattle this year were outstanding with Angus steers regularly exiting the feedlot around 650-700kg after 150 days on feed, the remarkable thing is most of the cattle are still only 20 months of age and under. That says a lot for the Angus breed and genetic improvements made in recent years,” he said.
This year Killara sourced almost all of its feeder requirements (55,000 cattle) straight from the paddock, with the assistance of the national Elders network. Direct consignment supply from the paddock has lifted from 50pc ten years ago, to 96pc today.
“The best news is that these cattle have arrived in large lines from many repeat vendors,” Mr Talbot said.
“Relationships are everything, being able to secure the good lines of cattle, providing a competitive price that reflects how the cattle perform and identifying market signals and feedback to suppliers, we believe, are the pillars to a repeatable supplier base,” he said.
Killara also launched its new bonus incentive program for producers for pre-vaccinated cattle during the awards.
“Cattle producers who now pre-vaccinate with Bovillis MH + IBR receive a bonus which is both transparent and rewards those producers who are willing to work with Killara to better manage BRD in the feedlot,” Mr Talbot said.
This year’s awards were sponsored by Killara’s largest custom-feed customer, Jack’s Creek Wagyu, which in recent times has moved south from Maydan feedlot near Warwick. As Beef Central reported earlier, Jack’s Creek has won back-to-back World Steak Challenge awards in the UK.