Demand for quality Hereford genetics continues to grow both in Australia and overseas.

Demand for quality Hereford genetics continues to grow both in Australia and overseas.

Market opportunities expand for Hereford producers

Market opportunities expand for Hereford producers

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Hereford producers are in a prime position to capitalise on a range of market opportunities and premiums, available in grass-fed markets in Australia and live export orders overseas.

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This is advertiser content for Herefords Australia.

Hereford producers are in a prime position to capitalise on a range of market opportunities and premiums, available in both certified grass-fed markets in Australia and live export orders overseas.

According to Herefords Australian general manager Andrew Donoghue, the demand for quality Hereford and Hereford influenced genetics is continuing to grow.

"Herefords' renowned doing-ability on grass and the seasonal turnaround across much of Australia offers producers a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of these premium markets," he said.

"It's an exciting time to be involved in the Hereford breed.

"Hereford cattle continue to consistently produce results for grass finishers and short-fed domestic feedlots.

"Obviously this has been very difficult in the north in recent years due to the drought, but anywhere south of Wagga Wagga, NSW, we have had some really good success with grass finishing.

"We only have to look at the weaner sales in the Western Districts of Victoria and the mountain calf sales, a lot of Hereford drafts are well-supported by grass finishers who take them home and produce a quality grass-finished product."

Herefords Australia general manager Andrew Donoghue urged producers to take advantage of the premium markets available for Hereford beef.

Herefords Australia general manager Andrew Donoghue urged producers to take advantage of the premium markets available for Hereford beef.

Major southern processors are paying up to a dollar per kilogram more for certified grass-fed cattle that meet the specifications of their branded products.

The contract grid released by JBS Australia at the beginning of May has prices hitting $7/kg in August for cattle eligible for the company's Great Southern farm-assured certified grass-fed program.

While H.W Greenham & Sons has introduced winter base price agreements for beef producers supplying their Gippsland facility in Victoria.

The Greenham Gippsland Winter Base Price Agreement was first presented to farmers in February this year and also offers $7/kg for cattle killed in August 2020.

Heightened demand for quality grass-fed cattle is purely supply based according to JBS Australia's southern livestock manager, Steve Chapman.

"The grass-fed cattle that are available of the right weight, style and finish are limited, there will be a lot more available in Spring, but less available until then," Mr Chapman said.

The JBS Hereford Boss brand (a sub-brand of Great Southern) is also facing supply shortages.

"On weight we've had some very good Hereford cattle killed under Hereford Boss, but we've been challenged by numbers," Mr Chapman said.

He said this was mainly due to the autumn break that is enabling producers to hold onto cattle for longer to make use of the abundance of feed and reach heavier weights.

While consumer demand for premium products is currently unpredictable, Mr Chapman said JBS is committed to sticking by their brands and will continue to purchase cattle.

"Demand is quite volatile at the moment; we are having more trouble shifting premium cuts due to closures of 'white tablecloth' restaurants," he said.

"I've never seen this situation before in my life."

Hereford cattle consistently produce results for grass finishers and short-fed domestic feedlots.

Hereford cattle consistently produce results for grass finishers and short-fed domestic feedlots.

Further opportunities exist for Hereford breeders with a current live heifer export order to China paying a premium rate of $1300 plus GST per head.

To meet the specifications of the order the heifers must be between 200 and 400 kg and be aged between eight and 16 months. The heifers also must be sired by a registered Hereford bull.

According to Landmark International's Andrew Wishart, there is regular demand for quality Hereford breeders to be exported to China with multiple orders per year.

Cattle sent on these orders must meet the China protocol meaning they have to be purchased on-farm and be from a Bluetongue free zone.

Jeremy Upton of Yarram Park Herefords, Willaura, Victoria, is delighted to see such strong premiums being paid for Hereford heifers.

"It's fantastic, it's a terrific price for young heifers and they're going into a future breeding program in China, not being processed," Mr Upton said.

According to Mr Upton, the Chinese are choosing pure Herefords as breeders over other British breeds as they have previously had good results with Herefords.

"The Chinese have had good experiences with Herefords in the past and they like them," he said.

Many southern Hereford producers have opted to sell their heifers for the higher live export prices this year rather than selling at weaner sales.

This has led to smaller heifer numbers in saleyards and premium prices for those heifers that are sold through the yards to domestic buyers.

This is advertiser content for Herefords Australia.

The story Market opportunities expand for Hereford producers first appeared on The Land.

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