Selling Wagyu beef direct to China from WA’s Pilbara region is not the stuff of fairytales.
An innovative approach is seeing this new red meat venture develop rapidly to lift beef exports from the west.
Launched in 2015 by its owner, Singaporean businessman Bruce Cheung, Pardoo Beef involves a detailed vision to supply high quality Wagyu beef to China. The business plan suggests the enterprise could be turning off 100,000 head by 2031.
But it’s not just about selling beef. What makes this venture so compelling is its focus on measurement and data analysis and its enormous capability to manipulate its environment and production systems through large-scale irrigation.
Pardoo aims to:
- turn-off more than 4,000 purebred Wagyu annually at 400kg carcase weight at 30 months of age, within the next five years
- double the area under centre pivot irrigation (presently 810ha) within two years
- graze the Wagyu herd on irrigated pastures full-time
- calve Wagyu heifers at two-years-old and plan for a calf every year
- calve in June/July, creep-feed calves and wean them before summer
- establish its ‘Exclusive Pilbara Wagyu’ brand in the marketplace before the herd reaches its production targets.
According to Pardoo Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Brett Blanchett, their Wagyu herd is in a rapid building phase, with females purchased from Lake Nash Station (Georgina Pastoral Company) in the Barkly Tablelands of the Northern Territory. Already the enterprise is running almost 3,000 females.
“The aim is to produce quality, highly saleable animals using genetics known to favour high marbling and eating quality,” he said.
The enterprise is based on 200,000ha at Port Hedland and Pardoo Beef runs an additional 430ha at Wundowie and 500ha in the Perth Hills.
Chedaring Farm, near Perth, is home to Pardoo’s Wagyu genetic multiplier herd and is where they will use artificial insemination and embryo transfer to rapidly increase the rate of genetic gain in their animals.
MLA Donor Company has partnered with Pardoo to run a three-year data collection and analysis project to explore the production/economic benefits of different pasture and breeder management systems and how to best utilise Pardoo’s 15-gigalitre annual water allocation.
Led by former Professor of Animal Production Systems at Murdoch University, Kevin Bell, the research team is measuring Pardoo’s production parameters.
These include pasture growth per megalitre of water, fodder production costs (in cents) per megajoule of energy, nutrient profile and comparative performance of pasture grasses such as Rhodes and panic, legumes (lucerne) and crops (maize silage).