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Direct carcase data adds to performance evaluation, as Raff Angus notches up 58 years

Sponsored Content, 14/07/2023

‘Boots on the Ground’ Spring Bull Sale

 112 – Efficient Beef Grass Converters – 112

Sell at ‘Mundibulanga’, Drillham QLD

Friday 18 August @ 1pm     

3 x Used Stud Sires –  54 x 22 month old bulls – 65 x 18 month old bulls

Each lot’s individual Raw Data will be available pre-sale – Actual Weight, Average Daily Gain, Scrotal Size, Frame Score, Eye Muscle Area, Rib/Rump Fat, IMF% – these bulls have been managed within strong contemporary groups allowing for meaningful and direct in group comparison.

Vaccinated – Ultravac 7in1, Pestiguard, 3 Day Sickness, Vibrio & Bovilus MH + IBR

Breeding Soundness Examined & Morphology Tested by Ced Wise AB Services

Fully Performance Recorded – Genomic Tested & Parent Verified

Tested free of Pesti Virus and double vaccinated with Pestigard

Individual Lot Videos and photos will be available 1 August

Individual lot commentary about the bull himself

Interfaced with AuctionsPlus and Elite Livestock online sale platforms.


‘Boots on the Ground’

AS the Australian Beef Industry continues to have an ever-increasing amount of information available at our fingertips on seedstock animals for sale, from the comfort and ease of our homes, we have named this year’s sale the Raff Angus Boots on the Ground Bull Sale.

This year we want ‘Boots on the Ground’ at our annual bull sale. We have named it as such because we believe it is important for the industry to maintain some balance in selection and get back to the bull pens and physically look at the actual bulls and to give opportunity to better understand the story of our program, our breeding beliefs, and our selection criteria’s.

To give incentive we’re offering a 1pc discount to successful purchasers who physically attend and buy.

Our bulls are purchased by clients who sell their progeny by the kilo – as weaners or as background feeders – while some maintain ownership through to target both the Yearling Prime and Jap Ox Grass Fed markets. For each of these varied programs they all want Angus seedstock bulls with the genetic potency to add as many kilograms as possible of raw weight into their progeny.

The breeding decisions Seedstock Breeders make today reach the end consumer six years later. Despite such compounding of years and regardless of industry trends the Raff Angus business model has always been clear and simplistic. That is to produce seedstock bulls that produce as many calves as possible that weigh as heavy as possible at as young an age as possible to then grow on to produce as heavy and high yielding a carcase at as young an age as efficiently as possible.

  • Profitable for the Cow/Calf Producer
  • Profitable for the Backgrounder
  • Profitable for the Grass Fed Bullock Producer
  • Profitable for the Lotfeeder
  • Profitable for the Processor

The heavier they are the more money they make.

Actual carcase feedback new dimension to performance evaluation

Our Seedstock Breeding Program is uniquely positioned where we can now follow the tail end of male progeny, (currently the bottom 50pc of male calves born) and tail end heifers through to a 100pc Pasture Raised and On Farm Finished Yearling Prime MSA Graded Animals.

Whilst the maternal line’s ability to calve with ease and rebreed annually while staying functional and sound is paramount, the ultimate profitability of their calves cannot be truly determined until such has a dollar value placed on them at a carcase standpoint.

Since our move we have been able to add this new dimension to the performance evaluation of our cattle – actual carcase feedback. This in our mind is the ultimate in determining the profitability of the genetics we are using and, whilst some fine tuning can always occur, it proves that our breeding principals are profitable and that our breeding direction is on the right path.

This past twelve months has seen another year drop of steers and heifers processed through both JBS and Greenham. 100pc pasture raised the Yearling Prime & MSA graded carcases give us a valuable opportunity to give insight on where our genetics stand up for National Comparison.

The complete draft of both Spring (October born) and Autumn (February born) steers were processed late December 2022 and early January 2023. When processed these steers had an average Carcase Weight of 341kg, milk tooth, returning $3013/head.

Over the past twelve months, within the financial year, we have sold a total of 166 Herd Book Registered steers and heifers as 100pc Grass Fed, No HGP, on farm finished animals. It must be noted that the steer portion were the ‘tail end half’ or bottom 50pc of all male calves born and the heifers where the bottom or ‘tail end’ 10pc of all heifers born. Despite this, when compared Nationally within the Meat & Livestock Australia myMSA dashboard, they achieved a 24kg heavier Carcase Weight and had more marbling with extra finish. At the average grid price of $8.80 at that time they returned an extra $211/head or an extra $35,026 for that consignment.

During the past 3 years we have sold 560 on farm pasture raised Herd Book Registered steers and heifers. With an accumulative average over these years these Prime Yearling Milk Tooth Raff Angus animals have returned on average an extra $395/head or an extra $220,000 net income over this 3-year period when compared Nationally within the Meat & Livestock Australia myMSA dashboard.

The Commercial Breeder wants as many calves weaned at as heavy a weaning weight as possible.

The Backgrounder wants these weaners to grow and reach feedlot induction weights as quickly as possible.

The Lotfeeder or Bullock Producer wants these backgrounders to finish their feed term with acceptable cover with good carcase quality, be of heavy carcase weights and again as with the Breeder and the Backgrounder have gained as much weight as quickly as possible.

The Consumer wants to eat a piece of beef that is affordable, enjoyable, and produced as efficiently as possible.

Drive towards sustainability

The beef industry’s growing focus on sustainability and its methane footprint must surely prioritise towards a greater genetic selection emphasis on cattle with superior meat yield and growth rate. Research is now indicating this to be the case. Muscle and fat have a negative correlation. It was interesting to read that to lay down a kilogram of fat, an animal eats six times the amount of grass than to lay down a kilogram of muscle.

Animals with an early maturity pattern have an inherent point where they can no longer convert feed to muscle. Instead, they simply lay down fat and become inefficient.  Animals of late maturity, that keep growing, have an inherent point where they take too long to finish and themselves also become inefficient.

We always have and will continue to maintain the belief that an animal with frame has more potential to convert feed – grass or grain – to a red meat protein with more efficiency. It is interesting to observe that animals reported by science to have strong growth traits with the genetic capability to produce big carcase weights of high yield are also reported to be Efficient through the NFI Estimated Breeding Value. That is, they are expected to eat less feed per day relative to their weight and rate of gain.

“With the entire industry’s goal towards Carbon Neutrality by 2030 and moderating methane, efficiency of our production system becomes increasingly important. An efficient animal that takes less days on feed and produces a heavy carcase weight must obviously produce less methane.”

112 quality bulls on offer

Mid-April our bulls made their trip north to Condamine in preparation for sale day Friday 18 August where 112 bulls will be catalogued. This year’s sale group offer as diverse a selection of genetics as we have offered over the many past sales.

We continue to select and use our highest performing home bred bulls that excel for maternal strength and real on ground performance. They add predictability with consistency of type and offer a diverse array of slight genetic variance yet all deep in Raff Genetic maternal dominance.

To date, very few of the high-$$Indexing AI bulls we have used have bred better livestock than our own. For us, we will use a ‘paper bull’ if his pedigree and phenotype are right, however, we will always use our homebred genetics that perform as well in the paddock despite them having limited genetic linkage to mainstream and despite them being left behind on paper.

United Kingdom continues to have genetic influence within our herd with direct sons featuring from five sires introduced for their muscle patterns, high yielding body types and their ability to convert feed to beef with efficiency.

Dominant International sires from past decades have been re-introduced into our program with sons selling from past leading sires such as – Hoff Limited Edition 594, Sitz Alliance 6595, Vermillion Dateline 7078, TC Stockman 2164, Bon View Bando 598, GT Maximum 88, Hyline Right Time 338, VPI Lord Patriot 9025 and Scotch Cap OB45. There is even a son selling whose sire was born in 1969! These well proven sires continue to breed progeny with tremendous ‘on ground and over the scale’ performance – this is why we continue to use such genetics.

58 years of performance recording

We are big believers in the importance to provide our commercial clients with as much information as possible to help make informed purchasing decisions.

Since establishment in 1965 the Raff Angus breeding program has been dedicated to performance recording – measuring all things measurable relevant to profitability.

Recently we have submitted almost 1000 DNA TSU tissue samples for both Parent Verification and Genomic Testing. By the end of this year every animal on farm will be Genomically Tested and moving forward each calf drop will continue to be PV & Genomic tested for all traits.

The inclusion of such data only adds too and improves the accuracy of all scientifically reported performance information. However, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are still just that – an estimate on an individual animal’s genetic potential. An animal with a 65pc accuracy is still 35% in-accurate so these should only be used as a guide – not a marketing tool or as the major selection tool for purchasing.

We believe the integrity of the producer and the program being used still to this day should have more weighting on a final selection decision than that of any scientific assumption.

Website: www.raffangus.com.au



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