A STRICT pasture management system and recent investment in pasture renovation have been credited for the consistently high MSA scores that secured Yarli Pastoral, Meningie and Field, the title of most outstanding beef producer in band one at the recent Meat Standards Australia's Excellence in Eating Quality awards.
The awards for the 2019-21 period were held at Robe on Tuesday, with Yarli Pastoral averaging an MSA Index of 63.62, with a compliance rate of 94.5 per cent to take out the award for producers in the top 25pc of volume for SA and NT.
SA/NT's average MSA index across the period was 60.45, once again outstripping the national average of 57.69, while its producers achieved a 96.1pc compliance rate.
More than 442,000 MSA cattle from 770 registered participating producers were consigned from the two states, representing 6pc of all graded cattle across the nation.
Across Australia, more than 15,000 MSA-registered producers consigned over 7.1 million cattle to the MSA program during 2019-21.
Yarli Pastoral took out the band one award ahead of previous winners Adrian and Dawn Stoeckel, Swan Reach, and Caringa Pastoral, Long Plains.
Yarli's Rhys Fischer said they were running a 900-head Angus-based cow herd and had boosted productivity and feed security by focusing on pasture improvement.
He supplies cattle to a range of brands underpinned by MSA and consigned 980 cattle over the two-year award period, with an average hot standard carcase weight of 260kg, ossification score of 140 and MSA marble score of 360.
A strict rotational grazing system is in place, with mobs run in 20 to 40 hectare paddocks and moved every three to five days in winter and 10 to 14 days in summer.
"We've invested a lot of money in pasture in the last few years," Mr Fischer said.
"Since cattle prices have risen, it has given us a bigger budget to spend on pastures.
"We've undertaken more intensive lucerne renovation and are trying to keep more feed in front of us at all times."
Maitland producers K&K Klopp won the band two award for most outstanding beef producer ahead of Michael, Susan and Stephen Craig, Laurie Park, Naracoorte, and VJ&MK Patrick, Eden Valley.
Broad Cattle Company, Hallett, upped their indexes substantially to win the improvement in eating quality award ahead of Brian and Heath Tiller, Warnertown.
Claiming the crown for most outstanding beef producer in the feedlot category for the second successive period was Thomas Food International's Iranda Feedlot at Tintinara.
Managed by Thomas Green, the feedlot had a 99.5pc compliance rate and average MSA index of 63.66.
The feedlot turns off 50,000 head a year, with all cattle sent for MSA grading regardless of whether they're bound for the domestic or export market.
Iranda also won the MSA Index Champion Carcase Award, for an individual carcase rated at 72.72.
The winner was a hormonal growth promotant-free steer that had been on feed for 120 days, with a carcase weight of 353kg, an MSA marbling score of 980 and rib fat of 19 millimetres.
MSA Program Manager David Packer said the achievements of MSA-registered producers in SA reflected the ongoing improvements they were making to raise the eating quality of their cattle, boost the value of the beef industry, and ultimately meet consumer expectations.
"The online myMSA portal is one of the tools available to MSA-registered producers to continually improve the performance of their cattle," Dr Packer said.
"Using carcase feedback, the myMSA portal allows producers to comprehensively benchmark the performance of their herd against the regional, state and national average, and by selecting for different production groups and carcase traits, such as feed type, HGP status, sex, and ossification."
MOST OUTSTANDING BEEF PRODUCER - BAND ONE: Winner - Yarli Pastoral, Meningie
Runners Up - A&D Stoeckel, Swan Reach; Caringa Pastoral, Long Plains
MOST OUTSTANDING BEEF PRODUCER - BAND TWO: Winner - K&K Klopp, Maitland
Runners Up - M&S Craig, Laurie Park, Naracoorte; VJ&MK Patrick, Eden Valley
MOST OUTSTANDING BEEF PRODUCER - FEEDLOT: Winner - Thomas Foods International Iranda Feedlot, Tintinara
Runners Up - Korunye Park Family Trust, Korunye Park; Princess Royal, Burra
IMPROVEMENT IN EATING QUALITY: Winner - Broad Cattle Company, Hallett
Runner Up - Brian and Heath Tiller, Warnertown; Castello Holdings
MSA INDEX CHAMPION CARCASE: TFI Iranda Feedlot, Tintinara (72.72 MSA Index)
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