Two Hereford cross vealer producers have been named in the Meat & Livestock Australia’s Top 100 Producers in Western Australia.
Bruce and Daphne Marsh, and Ian and Tanya Guthridge, were named in the Top 100 for 2014/2015 from 1500 producers statewide for consistent carcase quality.
Both families raise vealers and sell over-the-hooks to V & V Walsh Meat Processors, Bunbury, in the state’s south west.
Mr and Mrs Marsh use Hereford bulls over their Charolais-Friesian cross cows, and turn calves off at eight months of age at 230-240kg carcase weight.
Mr Marsh said feedback sheets had revealed his calves had averaged 59.69 on the MSA Index for eating quality.
“I supply both steers and heifers over the hooks, straight off their mothers, as at 540c/kg HSCW, it is good money,’’ he said.
“I have been using Hereford bulls over the F1 cows for 35 years to get the fat specifications right.
“I look for good structured bulls with length to get the weight in the calves.’’
Mr Marsh said his Hereford cross calves had weighed up to 510kg at eight months of age.
The couple run their vealer herd on 200ha in south-west WA between Augusta and Margaret River, in a 1000mm rainfall zone.
“We finish the calves on rainfed pastures of clover and rye with some supplementary hay,’’ Mr Marsh said.
He described the cattle market as strong with the Hereford breeding getting a great start to the bull selling season.
“The Hereford breed has come back into favour with the commercial producers wanting to meet the fat specs.’’
Ian and Tanya Gutheridge farm at Nannup with his parents Lyal and Laila Guthridge, using Hereford bulls over Angus/Friesian cows.
Ian said the breed had made a comeback, resulting in Hereford bulls being difficult to source.
“We produce vealers to sell to Woolworths at 9-10 months of age so are after quick growth,’’ he said.
“Our fat depth of 10-12mm is not an issue – temperament is the main reason we use Herefords.
“My father is 76 and still helps us in the yards so temperament is a big thing for us.
“We also keep calves until January and the Herefords forage well without losing fat cover.’’
The family aims at a 200-240kg carcase weight for March drop calves at 10 months of age, and receive 540c/kg carcase weight.