Producers learn to unlock profit potential

BRAINS TRUST: Weebollabolla Field Day speakers included (from left) Tom Bull from Lambpro, Jen Jeffreys from Weebollabolla, Sarah Strachan from MLA and Sam Newsome from Newsome Ag.
BRAINS TRUST: Weebollabolla Field Day speakers included (from left) Tom Bull from Lambpro, Jen Jeffreys from Weebollabolla, Sarah Strachan from MLA and Sam Newsome from Newsome Ag. Contributed

MAXIMISING returns and capitalising on collaborations, an industry brimming with opportunity was the focus of Moree's recent Weebollabolla Field Day.

Jen Jeffreys of Weebollabolla Shorthorns organised the event, and believed the format was the perfect opportunity for producers to network and gain valuable industry insights.

"It's a bit of a golden era of beef at the moment and we really wanted to bring industry heads together to see how we can all make gains and stay at the top of the game,” Mrs Jeffries said.

Held as a pre-cursor to Weebollabolla's historic 50th on-farm bull sale this September, the impressive line-up of speakers included Sarah Strachan of MLA, Andrew McDonald of NH Foods, Sam Newsome of Newsome Ag and Tom Bull of Lambpro.

Opening the event, Jen Jeffreys engaged the attendees by outlining Weebollabolla's current opportunities for clients in terms of markets and genetics, and its relevance to each speaker's presentation.

"The shorthorn market is re-positioning in the industry and there are currently a number of opportunities in red meat production that can be further explored,” she said.

NH Foods export sales manager Andrew McDonald has been collaborating with Weebollabolla, providing branded beef into the Chinese market.

"We began exporting Australian shorthorn branded beef into China about five months ago and it's had a very positive reception in China,” Mr McDonald said.

"While traditionally branded beef products such as angus and wagyu have always been popular in the marketplace, we feel shorthorn will provide a point of difference that will prove popular with consumers.”

He said the field day provided a rare opportunity to incorporate the whole supply chain, from the farm consultants to producers, processors and exporters.

"To be able to talk about what is achievable from a production side and a supply side, everyone goes home a little wiser,” he said.

In light of the recent NH Foods branding venture, MLA's Sarah Strachan discussed the tools available at a producer level to help interpret carcase quality feedback.

Sarah used a consignment processed on July 20 out of Weebollabolla Feedlot to give an actual example in the real world.

"Weebollabolla has always had a focus on marbling and weight for age and will continue to strive for improvement to benefit the brand,” she said.

"Compliance with the brand and specifications can be controlled by producers, and by taking this feedback on board they're putting profits directly into their pockets.

"The new myMSA benchmarking program was able to demonstrate that the entire lot of Weebollabolla cattle recently processed by NH Foods performed in the top 50% for grain fed beef eating quality when compared to the rest of the country and the same region in NSW.”

With a focus on the top 20% of producers, Sam Newsome of Newsome Ag also discussed imperative drivers of profits in a beef operation.

"Kilos of beef per hectare is the key to income so I look at where to focus expenditure in terms of growing feed to convert into beef,” he said.

"I also explore how producers should be resourcing their business using labour and plant and how their overheads and debt servicing reflect the scale of their business.”

"The variations in farm performance can be vast - a 3% return compared to a 6% return on a $10million dollar asset equates to $300,000.”

The Weebollabolla Bull Sale will be held September 22.

Topics:  cattle prices livestock

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