Tough beef battle set

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Cally DupeCountryman
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Sandy and Narelle Lyon with their children Tommy, Zoe and Aimee at their Willyung Farms cattle property after winning last year’s Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge.
Camera IconSandy and Narelle Lyon with their children Tommy, Zoe and Aimee at their Willyung Farms cattle property after winning last year’s Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge. Credit: Countryman, Bob Garnant

Competition will be fierce in the fifth Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate challenge, with a record number of entries vying for the prize.

The competition kicked off at the Mt Barker saleyards on Saturday, with 79 producers taking part this year.

The rules are simple — each team enters three steers and heifers, with the groups fed the same diet for about three months at a feedlot at Willyung Farms near Albany.

Heifers are put on feed for 76 days and steers for 89 days, with cattle proceeded and graded at Harvey Beef.

Each animal is scored individually, with 50 points for feedlot performance, 50 points for processing, and 25 points for MSA grading.

Harvey Beef livestock general manager Kim McDougall said the high number of entries was testament to cattle farmers’ desire to improve their beef.

“It is also the result of the hard work of the committee, to make this competition relevant and useful to competitors,” he said.

Dozens of producers flocked to Mt Barker saleyards on Saturday for the opening of the event, which included cattle entries and trade displays.

Winners will be announced in May, with the best-performing cattle netting a $5000 prize.

It was a case of Sussex success at last year’s event, when Sandy and Narelle Lyon’s team of Sussex-Angus cross took out the top prize.

It was back-to-back victory for Willyung Poll Sussex genetics, after Mr Lyon’s parents, Alister and Doreen Lyon, won the 2017 challenge title with a pure Poll Sussex team.

The challenge is sponsored by Harvey Beef and supported by Albany Agricultural Society.

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