It feels like we are spinning towards December 25th! Wow, what a year. A rollercoaster of events from drought, to bushfires, a global pandemic, through to floods, storms and the most amazing spring on record. 2020 has most certainly been a year that'll be cemented in the history books forever.
On behalf of the team at KC Natural, we'd like to thank everyone for their support throughout this year. It's been a busy year exploring lamb brands (watch this space) and exporting our beef and lamb to valued customers across the globe; whilst carrying out our regular domestic business as well. We hope that you have all stayed well and healthy, and that your businesses have handled 2020 well enough to robustly march into 2021. Wishing you all the very best for a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2021. Happy holidays everyone and take care.
Spring sunrise in top paddock at Hillgrove - 2020
Spring lambs and pasture
Spring lambs at Hillgrove
Fabulous season for terrific strike of new pasture!
A massive storm tore through the Boorowa area last week. Power poles blown down, prolonged black-outs, crushed cars and fences, damaged sheds and a silo floating down the river. School closed for the day. Thankfully no injuries. On with the repairs and clean-up; plenty of firewood for the coming winter!
A few photos of the storm damage last week
MLA Resource Flock Genetic Trials
We have been involved with the University of New England with some lamb and hogget productions from their work with resource and satellite flocks in conjunction with Meat and Livestock Australia over the last 12 months.
KC Natural has been selling the lamb cuts from these trials to our customer base.
This phenotyping exercise involves progeny from Merino, White Suffolk, Dorset, Texel’s and Hampshire’s to name a few. The flocks are run together on one growers place to neutralise environmental factors so that the genetic variation between the analysed livestock can be evaluated through Lamb plan. Progeny from each sire are utilised to assess the genetic merit from that sire across the 2 sites – at Kirby in Armidale and Katanning in WA.
We have been working with Dr Peter McGilchrist, Senior Lecturer- School of Environmental Science and he explained to us a little bit about the process as follows;
The information that is gathered whilst on farm is birthweight, monthly growth weights, wool data, faecal egg counts and live scanning of eye muscle depth and C-site fat depth. The livestock have been processed at Gundagai Meat Processors and data is collected from the kill and boning production. Getting the DEXA data for lean meat yield from GMP saves a lot of labour and cost in weighing lots of muscle and bone weights to calculate lean meat yield. The DEXA gives a more accurate value faster and without needing to destruct the carcase. A loin is collected and sent to Armidale for further measurement of eye muscle depth, eye muscle width, intramuscular fat % (IMF%), shear force (SFS), fresh retail colour and colour stability. All this data is then submitted into lamb plan for use to generate more accurate ASBVs across industry.
This year they have also been road testing and helping calibrate a few different technologies for the measurement of IMF at chain speed. This is needed by industry so that the individual MSA grading of lamb carcases can be rolled out for industry. The SOMA device has been adapted from the Japanese Tuna industry, and uses infra red light to identify marbling, which is similar to the MEQ devise stationed at GMP which also uses a wide array of light spectrum to assess the IMF% from a probe technology inserted into the loins. The 3rd technology is the Master beef camera which has been developed for beef but retrained to look at lamb loins to assess IMF% using image segregation technology.
These flocks are generating some fantastic tools and updated breeding values for the participating growers, plus the genotypic evaluation also helps spread that impact across a wide proportion of industry sires that are related to these heavily measured lambs. This data is hard to test in an animal production system and they are getting this back in a very timely manner. From an artificial insemination in February the growers can get and assess data in November ready to make breeding decisions for their flock.
“It is very interesting to hear the different traits that each stud is focusing on, they work together and they are learning a great deal from each other and benefiting from assessment of data between the breeds”.
Eastern states daily indicators
Harvest is currently underway at Hillgrove, with Breakfast Creek and The Mount both done and dusted. The Mount averaged approx 5 tonne of wheat per hectare (including grazing crops). The storm left some damage behind at Breakfast Creek, however all going well so far at Hillgrove.
Stripping wheat at The Mount, Forbes
Harvesting oats at Hillgrove; and canola at Breakfast Creek
Wet La Niña on the way
Our nation has experienced hotter than average temperatures throughout November.
This temperature trend is about to be pushed aside, paving the way for La Niña to set in.
Above average rainfall is expected across the nation right throughout summer and into autumn.
Source: BOM and Beef Central
3 month rainfall forecast. Source: BOM
Hotter than average November temperatures. Source: Beef Central.
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