Newsletter No.17

KWA News | 25th September 2023

25 September 2023

The Season

After a very mild winter, Spring is here.  We have had some warm days and enough rain to keep us going.  Clearly other regions of the country are not doing so well, we assume our time will come.

A couple of paddocks which we are currently improving are looking terrific, thanks in part to generous applications of turkey manure.  This stuff is terrific and a natural product.


We have just a few calves still to drop this season. So far calving has been very easy which is wonderful after some slightly tougher years recently. Clearly cow condition is critical as well as relatively benign weather.

KWA23U0115 – shares a birthday with Claire, our wonderful chief Administrator

We are gearing up for a very large embryo transfer program  starting this weekend. This will see the team very busy until the middle of November with almost daily activity in the yards.  Keeping them clean to veterinary standards is a major challenge.

Michael attended a Sustainability Summit in Armidale this month. It was organised by AGBU (Animal Genetic Breeding Unit) and looked at the potential for developing breeding indexes for sheep and cattle which will allow selection for positive performance in terms of sustainability. Sustainability is largely driven by relative methane production. Interestingly, in calculating the lifetime methane emissions of an animal the emissions of the dam during gestation are very significant because of the relative size and metabolism of the cow during this period. The good news is that there is huge potential for progress on this score.  The research will require a lot of data to confirm the proper genetics required to achieve progress.

In our last newsletter we talked about the arrival of U002 now registered as Koolang Bono.  His EBVs in the September run of breedplan are extremely positive. His marble score is 3.0 compared to a breed average of 1.  His carcase weight is +35 compared to a breed average of 18 and his F1 Terminal Index $245 compared to $123.  We will be using Koolang Bono in our herd next year as soon as he matures.

The Market

The beef market has been a real cold shower for all producers.  The EYCI has declined from over 1000 a year ago to less than 400 today.  This is a strong indicator of the difficult climatic conditions on the east coast of Australia and the difficult export markets being faced by our processors.  With a long hot summer ahead of us the tendency for further destocking will not provide much support for the market in the near future.  At the same time we are still seeing a healthy premium for F1 products over standard prices.

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