Breeders buck drought and put quality beasts on show
DAMIEN McMahon's prize steer will end its life on a high note.
It won the grand champion beast in the Allora Show prime cattle judging on Friday and was sent to the abattoir yesterday.
Mr McMahon runs a wholesale meat business with his brother Pat. He plucked the prize-winning steer from the McMahon Brothers Pty Ltd herd eight months ago.
After he picked it out, he took it home to fatten it.
"My boys show a few steers, we did not think this one was good enough for the show ring so we kept feeding him for the prime competition,” Mr McMahon said.
"We're not a registered feedlot, we just feed a few at home.”
It packed on the muscle to win the best grain feed beast, best steer over 480kg and the grand champion title.
The prime cattle competition recognises beasts with the best carcass potential.
Producers spend months feeding and working stock, but unlike stud judging few cattle will breed after the event.
Instead, the show committee hosts a sale that attracts meatworks buyers and butchers.
They are all keen to buy the best stock for their businesses.
As a meat wholesaler, Mr McMahon was no different.
He beat the likes of Peter Lyons from Tramore Beef and the Allora butchers to buy back his steer at 332c/kg.
There were 25 entries in the prime cattle judging, one less than 2018.
"It was good number considering the season and the competition was very good,” Mr McMahon said.
"I would not have liked to have been judging.”
In the stud ring Stephen Hayward and Kelly Smith's 13-month-old bull K5X Percy P6 picked up the supreme exhibit title.
It is the first win for the the young angus, sired by Premier Harvester.
Mr Hayward was chuffed with the result and used the Allora Show to acclimatise his new bull to hustle of competitive judging.
"This was his first show and there were no worries at all,” he said.
"He is an early maturing angus bull and weighs about 560kg at 13 months.
"That's pretty good.”
K5X Percy P6 will head to the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April.
"They have an Angus Feature this year and we can't miss that,” Mr Hayward.
Numbers in the stud
judging were down on last year as many producers didn't have the feed to keep selected animals in show condition.
Mr Hayward relies on trucked-in feed and hay for bulls like K5X Percy P6.
"The bill is huge,” he said.
The stud judging is integral for breeders to prove the quality of their herd genetics, so purchasing good feed all year round is a must.
"We'll take about 13 animals to Sydney, we'll do the shows at Taroom, Roma, Rockhampton and Guyra,” Mr Hayward said.