KEN Baldwin puts finishing cattle down to two key factors. Top-flight genetics and a quality feeding program that unlocks the potential of those genetics.
The Biddeston producer who operates the 146 hectare property Enterprise just west of Toowoomba said he was as pleased as punch with the performance of his last crop of bought-in Angus/Santa-cross weaners.
Those 67, weighting 260kg, steers were bought on AuctionsPlus just under 12 months ago. Despite a extremely tough summer season, the steers had performed remarkably well.
“The starting point has to always be the genetics,” Mr Baldwin said. “Then it’s about ensuring the steers have access to quality feed and water. The motivation has to be ensuring the steers perform to their potential.”
The same cattle in this story were featured in Queensland Country Life in November last year.
The EU accredited steers, which were bred in south west Queensland, were processed at the Teys Australia plant at Beenleigh.
The Teys kill sheet shows the first 20 steers produced carcases averaging 336kg with an average of 17mm fat. Only one deduction was recorded: A single carcase measured 23mm fat, fractionally above the 22mm cut-off. The second batch of 21 averaged 340kg with two breaking their two-teeth.
The 41 steers sold for 560c/kg dressed, returning better than $1900/head. A draft of 17 lighter 452kg steers were sold to Kerwee Feedlot for 365c/kg live. Grain sorghum grown on Enterprise is sent to Riverina Stock Feeds in Oakey, which helps to offset the cost of the supplied feed, which is delivered as pellets and fed through a restrictive feeder.
Mr Baldwin said the inclusion of the Alltech product Optisync in his feed ration had helped ensure the steers had grown at an optimum rate.
Alltech nutrition adviser Toby Doak said Optisync released nitrogen into the rumen over a 12 hour period. That nitrogen was readily broken down into ammonia in the rumen.
“It is this ammonia that feeds the bugs in the rumen, which break down fibrous material like dry pasture enabling the animal to maximise the value of the feed source,” Mr Doak said.
“However, the benefits of urea only last for about an hour. Then the ammonia has either been used by the rumen bugs or it is expelled by the animal.
“Optisync works by progressively feeding the bugs over 12 hours, which means lower quality feed can be broken down.”