Wagyu infused entries proved their ability to perform under shortfed programs, claiming the carcase section of the 2014 NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback trial completed recently.
A pen of five Wagyu X Angus steers bred by Stanbroke Beef proprietors, the Menegazzo family on their country near Swan Hill (Vic) topped statistics in the competition’s carcase section, based on meat quality attributes and yield indicators.
The Menegazzos’ entries were the only Wagyu-infused cattle in the competition, which this year attracted 128 teams of five steers comprising 16 breeds and their crosses from 78 vendors in three states.
The 640 competition steers were assembled at Teys Australia’s Jindalee feedlot at Temora, NSW, where they underwent a 112-day grainfed program before processing.
Entries were processed in January at Teys Australia’s Wagga Wagga plant for the company’s Certified Australian Angus Beef, Teys Riverine Premium and Teys Riverine Tender Cut brand programs.
The Menegazzos’ Wagyu x steers gained maximum points for marbling, ranging from 3 to 5 and averaging 3.6 on the Ausmeat marbling score scale. They also scored maximum points for carcase weight and fat colour.
As well as being the highest scorers in the carcase division, the five steers rated second best in the competition for compliance against the Teys Riverine Premium brand specifications.
In overall standings, the Menegazzo entry stood in 19th place among the 128 teams, finishing mid-way for feedlot performance in 60th spot.
“This is quite an outstanding result for the breed considering it had only one entry, and is selectively bred for much longer feeding regimes,” said the Australian Wagyu Association’s Executive Officer Graham Truscott, said in a statement.
“For milk tooth steers to hit a marble score of 5 after only 112 days on feed is extraordinary, and shows what can be achieved using Wagyu genetics,” he said.
In addition, the pen finished in the middle of the field when it came to feedlot performance with an average daily weightgain of 2.1kg and nil health treatments.
“It might encourage more Wagyu breeders to enter feedlot and carcase trials,” Mr Truscott said. “The premium prices they have been receiving for their Wagyu purebred and crossbred steers and heifers have been a more attractive option than what is on offer in competitions.”
The Menegazzos’ F1 steers were all sired by Stanbroke Beef’s ‘Ring Tank’ sire-line Fullblood Wagyu bulls, chosen especially for F1 crossbreeding work in co-operator Angus herds. The competition steers were out of Stanbroke’s own Angus cows. The siblings to the competition steers are normally fed about 350 days at the Stanbroke Beef feedlot near Chinchilla for processing for the company’s Diamantina Wagyu brand programs.
Diamantina Wagyu is sold into a range of higher-end food service and retail markets in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Angus overall winners
The 2014 Beef Spectacular overall trial winners announced at an awards dinner in Wagga Wagga recently were Kyneton (Vic) Angus producers, John and Linley Dettmann, while the feedlot performance class and overall reserve championship went to a pen of composite steers exhibited by Hicks Beef from Holbrook, NSW.
The Hicks family’s team was $481 more profitable than the trial average, with average daily gains in the feedlot ranging from 2.59kg to 2.88kg/day.
The family runs a 1400 composite and Red Angus cow herd on their Holbrook property, relying heavily on the scientifically-developed Australian Beef Composite, using a blend of high muscling and marbling genetics from European and British breeds.