Beef Central briefs 2 August 2012

Beef Central, 02/08/2012

Japanese Kobe beef hits Hong Kong

Rarely exported Japanese Kobe beef has begun selling in supermarkets and high-end restaurants in Hong Kong, the Malay Mail reported this week. Exports of officially certified Kobe beef also commenced from Japan to the nearby Chinese territory of Macau five months ago. Almost 1500kg of Kobe beef arrived in Hong Kong from Osaka by air on July 18, and went on sale last Friday at a 30 per cent discount at around HK$88 to HK$327 per 100 grams (A$11-A$42/100 grams), according to the Malay Mail. Nobu InterContinental Hong Kong executive chef Erik Idos said the meat will be offered in the hotel as a five-course Kobe beef set with beef sashimi and sushi, priced at HK$1,688. Four out of five of the courses will feature the tenderloin, striploin and the ribeye. "They'll love it, because Hong Kong people love the soft texture of beef that melts in your mouth," the American chef told AFP. "This has all of it, it has the beef taste, it has the fat, it has the texture."

Beef in canned chicken recall

Approximately 70,500 pounds of canned chicken distributed in the US by Tony Downs Foods Company, a sub-contractor to Tyson, are being recalled this week after it was discovered the product may in fact contain beef and gravy. The USDA announced the recall on Tuesday on the grounds that the mis-labelling created the potential risk of consumers being exposed to an undeclared allergen. The canned beef product contains wheat, an allergen not declared on the canned chicken label, the USDA said. These products were produced on May 18, 2012, and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

Herefords Australia board appoints two new directors

Herefords Australia has expanded its board to 12 to include two new directors, Paul Rogers from Coolah in NSW and Andrew Bell from Millicent in South Australia.  Chairman Steve Reid said Mr Rogers brought a combination of seedstock production and business skills to the board while Mr Bell came to the board with a strong commercial cattle production focus. Mr Rogers established the Centennial Hereford stud over 20 years ago and now runs 250 registered and commercial breeders along with cropping on 2000ha at Coolah north east of Dubbo, NSW. He also owns and runs an electrical contracting business on Sydney’s outskirts employing 29 people. Mr Bell, in partnership with brother Greg who runs the cropping side of the business, runs a family business that joins around 2000 Hereford females on the family’s 4000ha aggregation with headquarters at Emerald,  Millicent, SA.

NT Brahman fertility trial continues to kick goals

The Northern Territory Department of Resources says a long-running breeding program aimed at increasing the fertility in Brahman cattle continues to produce strong results. The DoR has been selecting for fertility in a Brahman herd since 1994, using objective selection on fertility traits and the BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation system. DoR principal pastoral production research officer Tim Schatz said significant progress had been made. “In the Selected Brahman herd pregnancy rates from yearling mating were significantly higher compared to commercial herds,” Mr Schatz said. “And pregnancy rates in lactating cows at the first weaning round were notably higher in the Selected Brahman breed compared to an unselected control herd.” Mr Schatz said the program was drawing interest from across Australia, with a number of groups seeking access to the genetics and demand for bulls increasing eacy year.

Picking the right bulls for high altitudes

Researchers in Europe have recently investigated the effect of altitude on cattle performance, with the view to introducing more traits into genetic evaluation systems. The researchers, from Georgia and Poland, were looking to see if expression of certain traits in Angus cattle was significantly different between low and high altitudes. The study focused on brisket disease, a fluid build-up in the chest and lower body caused by high blood pressure, which is a major factor in preventing cattle living at higher altitudes from performing as well as cattle in lower altitudes. Reporting the results of their study in the Journal of Animal Science, the researchers found that the effects of weaning weight and post-weaning gain were not highly correlated across high and low altitudes, indicating that measurements of these traits taken at different altitudes should be considered separate traits. This meant that sires should be evaluated differently based on the altitude at which they were intended to be used, co-author Professor Marek Lukaszewicz said. Because altitude was not traditionally reported in breeding statistics, the researchers suggested that producers make selection decisions based on a bull’s ability to survive its first year. A bull with a high score for survivability could thrive at low altitudes and make do at high altitudes. After considering survivability, producers could then consider weight gain scores to pick the best bull, they said.

FMD risk real: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group has launched an online resource to help farmers in the early detection of notifiable emergency diseases including Foot and Mouth Disease and Anthrax. “Australia’s borders aren’t impenetrable to FMD,” VFF Livestock president Ian Feldtmann said. “A large outbreak could cause around $16 billion worth of damage to our economy. Our export markets would be shut down indefinitely.” The key to successfully managing a disease outbreak lay in the ability to contain it as soon as possible – much of which would need to take place at farm level. “Simple things, like knowing what symptoms to be suspicious of and knowing who to call should an outbreak be suspected, could make billions of dollars of difference to the final outcome,” he said. Producers can find the resources on the VFF website here and here

New funding for Kimberley roads

The WA Government says $91m will be spent on improving roads in the Kimberley region in 2012-23, after Transport minister Troy Buswell announced a $17m for the region on Tuesday. The funding will be spent on upgrading the Cape Leveque Road, the Broome Highway and the Great Northern Highway to Wyndham Spur.  Mr Buswell said the funding was designed to build safer country roads to reduce the social and economic cost of road trauma and to ensure regional road infrastructure kept pace with the growing demands of heavy vehicle traffic. “The biggest single project is more than $9million to upgrade the Broome to Cape Leveque Road, which provides the main transport link through the Dampier Peninsula, allowing access to Aboriginal communities, pastoral stations, pearling industries and tourist destinations,” he said.

Fencing course


The NSW Department of Primary Industries will conduct a PROfarm fencing short course at Tamworth Agricultural Institute on Wednesday, September 5. DPI PROfarm course organiser, Julie Chapman, said the one-day fencing course includes fencing design, layout and types of fencing for different classes of stock and properties and is ideal for people seeking basic conventional fencing knowledge and skills. The course will cost $250 (GST free) per person, and all participants will receive the Fencing Agskills Guide with photographs, diagrams and practical tips, and a certificate of attendance. Registrations close on Wednesday, August 29. Contact Julie Chapman on (02) 6763 1285 or Cassie Gardiner on (02) 6763 1276 or email


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