Vic Angus breeders Annette and Harold Cocking knew very little about the performance of their genetics in the feedlot or on hooks, selling most of their cattle as weaners.
But an encouraging result in last year's Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial at Teys Australia's Jindalee feedlot, NSW, was the catalyst for the Euroa based producers to enter the inaugural Southern Grainfed Carcase Classic at Teys' Charlton feedlot in early February.
The results which were announced last week were well beyond their expectations.
Their four teams finished in the top five overall placings from 14 other teams from SA and Vic.
As well as the champion tam they also had the top three placings in the feedlot performance section and were second and third for carcase performance.
"We are thrilled to know our cattle have performed so well- to win or even place you have to have them all perform and come up with a good amount of points," he said.
Each of the teams of 10 were awarded points for feedlot performance on weight gain, documentation and animal health, with equal points available from carcase performance when the cattle were processed at Teys' Naracoorte abattoir in late June.
The Cockings' cattle put on more than two kilograms a day compared to the average daily weight gain of the 18 teams over the 100 day feeding period which was less than 1.5kg/day.
Their champion team, which were also the feedlot performance winners, scored 1725 points from a possible 2000.
The 16 to 17 month old Angus were bred from some of the Cocking's Black Magic stud cows and two thirds of the team were sired by United States bulls Quaker Hill Mile High and Baldridge Compass.
The semen was supplied by HCH Genetics, Mansfield, Vic.
Two of the Cockings other three teams were also Angus but their highest placed entry in the carcase performance which scored 835 out of a possible 1000 points were Limousin-Angus and Charolais-Angus crosses which were a few months younger.
Both these Euro crosses and the champion Angus team had an average MSA marble score of more than 500.
The Cockings who run about 500 stud stud and commercial cows having transitioned from dairying and commercial beef females to a pure Angus herd
The main target market for their progeny are Vic weaner sales at Euroa, Yea and Pakenham.
Mr Cocking said the new competition was a chance to test the progeny of their Angus bulls.
"It is just the two of us so we don't have time to collect all the data and measure everything like some studs, hopefully this shows the value of our genetics," he said.
"It surprises us that more stud breeders don't enter these competitions to help prove they are breeding cattle that perform in feedlots and rate well under MSA grading."
The platform complements our large scale grass-based competition and fills in the gaps for those producers who do not personally take their own cattle through to processing.
He hoped they could use the outstanding results to sell a few more bulls and create stronger demand for their weaner cattle.
HL Robertson, Kingston SE, took out the carcase performance section with their team of Glatz's Black Angus blood Angus steers.
Southern Grainfed Carcase Classic chairman Ben Glatz said the inaugural competition had been of great interest to many producers and expects the number of entries to grow in coming years.
"The platform complements our large scale grass-based competition and fills in the gaps for those producers who do not personally take their own cattle through to processing," he said.
"Weaner producers and feedlot backgrounders now have an easy to access, channel of data outlining the performance of their stock from feedlot induction through to the chiller."
He said the 100-day grain feeding period aligned well to the geographical area the competition tends to draw from and the cattle they produce with very few SA and Vic bred cattle spending longer than 100 days on feed.
The only disappointment for the committee was that the planned feedlot visit this year had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 but Mr Glatz expects it to be a highlight of the 2021 competition.
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