By Matt Sherrington, QCL
According to Australian Simmental Breeders Association (ASBA) executive officer Felicity Reeves there is a Simmental to suit any producer, right across Australia.
“We’re always promoting the Simmental by showcasing the diversity of the registers it has,” Ms Reeves said.
This year the ASBA is concentrating on increasing the genomic data on Simmental sires and donor dams.
“With technology now, we can test for many things and make breeding predictions more accurate,” she said.
“We just don’t know the full capabilities of these tests yet, though the possibilities of predicting what an animal is capable of at a younger age, ie weaning, the more cost effective it is for the producer and more accurate the data will be for the buyer.
“We’re also proving genetic linkage with overseas sires and dams, and we intend to share data between countries, again, making it more cost effective for an Australian member to bring genetics into the country and for them to export Australian genetics.”
She said the ASBA has undertaken subsidised testing of sires and donor dams to build the genetic database.
“We’ve made the decision to assist our members in moving the breed forward by sharing the cost. The money the ASBA spends is the member’s money and we must be proactive and forward thinking in how we use that.”
In regards to Simmental success stories so far in 2018, Ms Reeves said one of the big highlights was how the breed performed and the recognition it received at Beef 2018 event held in May.
“There we had ABSA members from one end of Australia to the other making the trip to Rockhampton, and it was a great moment when the Skene Family, Meldon Park Simmental Stud, Cecil Plains, won the Interbreed Grand Champion Bull trophy for their exhibit, Meldon Park Major Player.
“We also had commercial success in the Led Steer and Champion Pen of Steers competitions which were won by Simmental heifers.”
She said Beef’s Best for a Cause charity auction held at Beef 2018 was another highlight with Simmental semen making a stand-out $2100 per straw for Woonallee Los Angeles, the top priced Simmental bull sold in 2017.
“Los Angeles’ owner Brett Nobbs, Nobbs Cattle Co, kindly donated this sought after semen and made another record in doing so.”
Ms Reeves said the Simmental has continued to strengthen its foothold as high quality breed option for northern beef producers.
“The versatility of crossing Simmental with Angus and Brahman gives producers a stabilised standalone breed in the SimAngus, Simbrah, Red and Black Simmentals.
“That’s not to say the traditional bull can’t make it’s way north, the Grand Champion at Beef attests to that. Producers can choose the right bull for their operation.”
She said a long-held challenge in marketing Simmental to the North fell by the wayside at Beef 2018.
“There was a perception that a European breed wouldn’t be suitable for northern Australia, but if the level of inquiry at Beef 2018 is anything to go by, that is no longer the case.
“Enquiry at Rockhampton ranged from which of the breed registers is considered more tick resistant to what the benefits of crossing Simmental with Brahman are.
“By having two trade sites and over 90 entries for the show classes, it was easy to point prospective buyers in the right direction.”
She said the ASBA isn’t just about stud breeding either.
“We have a large commercial membership and we’re interested in your story and how the breed works for you.
“If you’re selling at the saleyards or in an online auction, tag Simmental Australia on social media and we’ll happily share your lots across Australia and beyond. Your success is our aim, and promotion benefits us all.”
BUSY TIMES IN THE NORTH
While the Simmental has already achieved great success in Qld this year, Ms Reeves said there are still many more northern sales, field days and shows in which the breed will feature at in 2018, which are certain to provide some memorable highlights of their own before the calendar turns to 2019.
“There will be several members with sites at the Ag-Grow Emerald Field Days from June 28 to June 30, and 32 Simmental bulls have been selected for the Ag-Grow Premier Multi-Breed Bull Sale,” she said.
“Lucrana Simmentals will hold their seventh on-property bull and female sale on July 5, with vendor Andrew Moore to offer 65 bulls, five lead heifers and 10 commercial heifers.
“Springside Simmentals will open their gates for Southern Beef Week on July 22. Hosts Peter and Toni Rauchle are located on Irongate Rd, Springside, north west of Pittsworth. They’ll also hold their sale at the Roma Saleyards on August 24.
“And the Laycock family will hold their Clay Gully Invitational Bull Sale on August 27 at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.”
Ms Reeves said their will also be two inaugural on-property sales later this year.
“Elite Cattle Company, Meandarra will hold their first sale on September 6, and Blue Dog Simmentals will host theirs at the Pinaola Sale Complex, Jackson, on September 15.”
” The Roma Simmental and Simbrah Bull Sale is on Friday September 7. The SEQ Simmental and Simbrah Bull and Female sale will be held on September 22 with vendors, Yeeha, Clay Gully and Biarra Valley at the Silverdale Sale Complex.”
“Meldon Park with invited vendors KBV Simmentals and Navillus Park Simmentals will hold their sale of 75 bulls on September 26 at the Billabong Sale Complex at Moura.”
“Gowrie Simmentals and Simbrahs will hold their 19th Annual On-Property Sale on September 27 and rounding off the year Billa Park will hold their bull sale at Clermont in October.”