Impressive steers top 3kg/day in first stage of Paddock to Palate competition

Beef Central, 20/06/2023

Winner of the heavily contested 100-day category Kel and Greg Kelly from Juandah Grazing Company.

QUEENSLAND beef producers have dominated the weightgain phase of the RNA’s 2023 Paddock to Palate Competition and Wagyu Challenge, with several pens in the 100-day division topping 3kg per day liveweight gain.

Juandah Grazing from Guluguba in the Western Downs region took out Class 37 (100 day) at the awards presentation in Toowoomba this morning, with their Charolais cross recording an average daily weight gain (ADG) of 3.057kg. They also won the highest individual weight gain for Class 37A, with the heaviest of their pen of six weighing in at 3.33kg.

Devon Court Herefords, also from the Western Downs, had success in Class 38 (70 day), after their pen recorded an ADG of 3.121kg.

One of the steers in their winning pen had an ADG of 3.5kg, taking out the Highest Individual Weight Gain for Class 38A which was also the largest ADG recorded in the 2023 competition.

Winner of the 70-day class Tom Nixon from Devon Court Herefords in front of his pen at JBS Beef City.

In the Wagyu Challenge, Hewitt Pastoral Enterprises from Taroom in the Banana Shire claimed first place in Class 39A (Pen of 6) with their Wagyu Brahman cross recording an ADG of 1.294 kg. Shima Wagyu took out the Highest Individual Weight Gain for their Shorthorn / Wagyu with an ADG of 1.516kg.

Meanwhile, Palgrove Pastoral Company from Bukkulla in New South Wales took out first in the Highest Individual Weight Gain for Class 40 (HGP free), with their winning pen of Charolais X weighing in with an ADG of 2.445kg. The prestigious supply chain competition offers almost $55,000 in prize money and has attracted 756 head of cattle this year.

Palgrove Pastoral Company’s Ben Noller in front of the company’s winning pen in the 100-day HGP free category.

RNA Beef Committee chair Gary Noller said there was not only an increase in entries but a very high standard across the competition, with Queensland producers dominating.

“Qld producers performed really well this year and I believe the cattle we have seen were born post the 2018/19 drought and have had better preparation due to the seasons’ pre-entry to the feedlot,’’ Mr Noller said.

Gary Noller. Photo: Rommel Carlos Photography

“These post drought cattle have led to an extremely high standard being entered from Qld and we have seen the overall competition entry numbers rise from 751 last year to 875 cattle this year. It’s the data and being able to benchmark against their peers in the industry that keeps the exhibitors coming back.’’

Mr Noller said the 100-day Paddock to Palate Competition winners will exclusively go to the JBS Royal 100 Brand, and the 70-day winning cattle will form part of the JBS Queenslander brand.

“There are 50 retail outlets and 18 wholesalers from the Sunshine Coast to Weipa, to Mount Isa, out to Cunamulla and back to the coast that will sell this award-winning beef this year,” he said.

“It’s amazing exposure for a brand and the product is so hotly sought after that JBS have trouble keeping up with demand.”

The JBS Royal 100 brand will be distributed to more than 50 hotels as far north as Weipa, over to Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria and down to Mount Isa, Longreach, Charleville, Roma, Northern NSW and many places in-between.

JBS’ Denis Conroy said the Regatta Hotel will host the winning family of the competition before the Ekka, buy the champion pen and promote the Royal 100 brand through the event. He said there

“The aim of the brand is to allow the winners of the competition to take beef back to their local areas,” he said.

“This is some of the best producers in Australia and it is some of the best beef you will be able to eat.”

The Paddock to Palate Competition presented by JBS Australia now moves into the second phase which is carcass judging.

Competition classes 37, 38 and 40 are three phased comprising best aggregate weight gain, carcass and MSA eating quality, while the Wagyu Challenge is four phased finishing in a beef taste off judged by some of Qld’s top chefs.

The exhibitors who poll the highest aggregate scores across all phases of the four classes will be awarded the overall prizes at the Paddock to Palate and Beef Industry Dinner presented by JBS Australia at the Brisbane Showgrounds on Thursday 10 August.


Class 37A – Rabobank Best Weight Gain for Pen of 6, 100 Day Grain-Fed Steers  

1st – Juandah Grazing – Charolais X – ADG 3.057kg – Guluguba QLD

2nd – Palgrove Pastoral Company – Charolais X – ADG 2.895kg – Bukkulla NSW

3rd – Palgrove Pastoral Company – Charolais X – ADG 2.85kg – Bukkulla NSW

Class 37A – Rabobank Highest Individual Weight Gain 

1st – Juandah Grazing – Charolais X – ADG 3.33kg – Guluguba QLD


Class 38A – Elanco Animal Health Best Weight Gain for Pen of 6, 70 Day Grain-Fed Steers 

1st – Devon Court Herefords – Hereford – ADG 3.121kg – Drillham QLD

2nd – Russell Pastoral Operations Pty Ltd – Angus X – ADG 3.029kg – Blackall QLD

3rd – Aurelian Pastoral Company – Angus X Ultrablack – ADG 2.955kg – Warwick QLD


Class 38A – Elanco Animal Health Highest Individual Weight Gain 

1st – Devon Court Herefords – Hereford – ADG 3.5kg – Drillham QLD

39A (Wagyu Challenge) – Smithfield Cattle Co Best Weight Gain for Pen of 6 Grain-Fed Wagyu Steers

1st – Hewitt Pastoral Enterprises – Wagyu Brahman cross – ADG 1.294 kg – Taroom QLD

2nd – Shima Wagyu – F1 Angus / Wagyu – ADG 1.266 kg – Bundarra NSW

3rd – McIntyre Agriculture – Wagyu Angus cross – ADG 1.260 kg – St George QLD

Class 39A (Wagyu Challenge) – Smithfield Cattle Co Highest Individual Weight Gain 

1st – Shima Wagyu – F1 Shorthorn / Wagyu – ADG 1.516 kg – Culcairn NSW

Class 40A – Best Weight Gain for Pen of Six HGP Free Steers 

1st – Palgrove Pastoral Company – Charolais X – ADG 2.445kg – Bukkulla NSW

2nd (tie) – Palgrove Pastoral Co – Charolais X – ADG 2.385kg – Bukkulla NSW

2nd (tie) – Jabinda Pastoral – Santa Charolais Angus – ADG 2.385kg – Tambo QLD

Class 40A – Highest Individual Weight Gain 

1st – Palgrove Pastoral Company – Charolais X – ADG 2.87kg – Bukkulla NSW


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