A WETTER than average autumn failed to dampen this year's Paddock to Palate competition, which organisers have hailed as one of the best yet.
Overall, the 756 head of cattle entered by producers from across the state and beyond enjoyed average daily weight gains of more than three kilograms.
Most steers had 3.6kg to 3.7kg average daily weight gains in the 70 to 100 day categories, despite the fact that wet weather could lead to animal weight gains stalling or diminishing.
RNA beef committee chair Gary Noller said this year's average gains were, on average, much higher than last year's competition, which was exceptional given the challenging weather conditions.
"I would have to say this is one of the better results we've seen in the competition's history," Mr Noller said.
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"There's no doubt the wet weather makes it more difficult when it comes to feed lotting cattle, but the team at Beef City have done a remarkable job to guide the cattle to these kinds of results. I think the results are also quite indicative of how the quality of the cattle entered in this year's competition as well, they seem to get better every year and this year's competition was no exception."
Mr Noller said the limited amount of stock losses and hospital visits was testament to the work done at the feedlot.
"There was only two stock losses during the competition, which given the weather, was a remarkable result," he said. "As well as that, there was also very few hospital visits, which I think is just proof of the good work being done at Beef City because the wet weather would have made things more challenging than in recent years."
The competition, which is in its 25th year, will now move onto its next phase, which is carcase judging.
Classes 37, 38 and 40 include three phases, best aggregate weight gain, carcase and MSA eating quality, while the Wagyu challenge is four phased and finishes off with a taste test conducted by some of the state's best chefs.
"As producers, while we want to see gains of kilos per day we also need to be cognisant of the fact we need to be able to finish stock on a regime of feed so that we can get the meat quality right," Mr Noller said.
"That is where I think the overall points of the competition come into it because if you come with a carcase but don't have the growth weight, you can still take out a section of the competition and vice versa.
"I think there will be those curve benders in there as well that will show us that if you've got a good growth weight along with a good carcase you'll accumulate points pretty well."
As for the Wagyu challenge, Mr Noller said he was expecting to get the results of all of the eye muscle area testing back from Japan in the coming days.
"Once we get that data collated we will announce the winners at the awards dinner in Brisbane on August 3," he said.
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