NEW figures of Australian registered cattle released by the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) show numbers have risen to the highest levels in the past 20 years.
The figures, released at the ARCBA Annual General Meeting in Brisbane on July 5, show that primary beef registrations reached 147,999 in 2016, up by 12,310 or nine per cent on the 2015 figures.
The number of secondary registered cattle, of non-herdbook animals bred for seedstock production, also rose to 63,782 animals in 2016 compared to 62,129 in 2014.
Breeds were categorised under four categories; British breeds and Australian derivatives, Tropical breeds, European breeds and derivatives and other breeds.
In 2016 the British breeds recorded 84,492 registrations, Topical breeds had 31,843, European breeds registered 20,938 and other breeds had 10,726 registrations.
The year on year outlooks showed that some breeds increased registrations by almost 6000 from 2015 to 2016.
Individually it was the Angus Society of Australia who recorded the most registrations for 2016 with 45,117 primary animals and 24,959 secondary animals for a total of 70,076, making up 33 per cent of all Australian registered cattle that year.
Herefords Australia came in second with a total of 25,257 registrations making up 11.93 per cent, followed by Australian Brahman Breeders Association with a total of 24,449 (11.54 per cent), Santa Gertrudis Breeders (Aust.) Assoc. totalling 17,423 (8.23 per cent) and Droughtmaster Stud Breeders Society Ltd with 11,386 (5.38 per cent).
Australian Wagyu Association, Charolais Society of Australia, Australian Brangus Cattle Association, Australian Limousin Breeders Society and Shorthorn Society of Australia rounded out the top 10.
Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association president Dr Arthur Rickards said he attributed the record registrations to the record beef prices.
“I am not confident that there will be continued growth in 2017 but I expect registrations to continue at high levels,” he said.
“This is because there is a lag between high beef price and stud registrations. So the high beef price of 2016 and early 2017 will flow through into registrations in 2017 and 2018.”
The high Angus numbers of commercial cattle were drive by the strong demand by feedlotters and meat processors due to the marbling attributes, he said.
“The high levels of Angus registrations are also due to their society which has the funds to promote Angus strongly so a cycle has been established,” he said.
Elders stud stock agent Andrew Meara said the increase could come down to a combination of evolving groups growing and mainstream breeds charging along.
Season could also have played a part, he said.
“Where the stud cattle are (located) there has generally been a better run in the season which allow people to grow their breeder numbers back up,” he said.
“Hopefully it will be another strong selling season for the bull job in Spring.”