After five years as entrants in the NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback Trials, Tait Pastoral Company has maintained its top tier performance placing tenth overall in the competition in 2022.
Tait Pastoral was awarded the reserve champion Teys Certified Premium Black Angus Pen as well as second and sixth in the MSA eating quality medals.
Doing well every year since they initially entered the trial, Tail Pastoral Company principal, Stuart Tait, Mandurama, said the Mandurama-based operation annually enters two teams.
In 2019 Tait Pastoral were the overall champions of the trial, while their second team also placed in the top 10.
Mr Tait said the timing and market for the trial falls into the usual targets for their business that aims for the feedlot market, but they tend to probably sell them slightly heavier.
"They enter the trial at about 420kg whereas with our other steers we try to get them closer to 500kg," he said.
The level of realistic feedback on the steers is a big push for Tait family to continue entering the trial.
"It is not something we get anywhere else so it is a unique opportunity," Mr Tait said.
"With the cattle we send to the open market for feedlot, we haven't got a lot of feed back on them before
"At the moment it is reassuring us that we are on the right track. It is the one big opportunity to get feedback on our performance.
"Ideally down the track it would be nice to continue having good results and then to use that as a marketing tool for our steers, but at the moment the market isn't operating that way."
On farm, Tait Pastoral runs a breeding herd of Angus females consisting primarily of Dunoon and Landfall blood.
Heifers are artificially inseminated (AI), with seven of the 10 steers in the trial, including four in the higher-scoring team, being progeny of heifers. The sires used for the AI program change each year, however the steers entered in the trial were by Millah Murrah Navigator N312 and Chiltern Park Moe M16.
The tenth placed team was ranked fourteenth for feedlot performance and twelfth for carcase.
Mr Tait said he looks for a balance between maternal and carcase traits in the cattle, and he likes everything to be above breed average.
"We look for moderation across the board with maternal traits, growth traits, and carcase traits," he said.
"We don't specifically make a point of chasing the IMF but if we are buying bulls from a reputable stud, we like to think that we are picking that up along the way.
"Talking about carcase traits, eye muscle area and the rib and rump fats are the main ones we watch.
"In the five years that we have entered, we haven't won the feedlot performance category so perhaps you could say we need to target growth more, and that is something I am factoring coming back to with bull selection.
"But it's a fine line between chasing growth too hard and then from a maternal point of view, you end up with big cows that eat a lot of grass - it is all about finding the happy medium."
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