Page 1

UPDATE

TH E AUSTRALIAN

WAGYU

Vol. 69 The Wagyu industry’s premier trade magazine produced by the Australian Wagyu Association

www.wagyu.org.au September 2018

TAKING IT TO THE

Wa gyu E dge

INSIDE ....

| INDUSTRY CHALLENGES & RESILIENCE | FOR A GOOD CAUSE | BUILDING INTEGRITY BE BOLD BE BRANDED BE WAGYU | MiPS TO SNPS | UNDERSTANDING PERFORMANCE RECORDING BREEDPLAN - WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT? | CREATING A CLEARER IMAGE | POSITIVE EARLY RESULTS - NFI


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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


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CONTENTS 4

Challenges for Wagyu industry and resilience

8

Taking it to the WagyuEdge

9

Supporting a good cause

12

#Wagyu Edge Building Integrity -

19

2019 19

The Wagyu Branded Beef Competition 2018 winners

21

Be bold, be branded, be Wagyu

23 Parent Verification: MiPs to SNPs 24 Planning to get most out of your performance recording 29 Wagyu Single-step BREEDPLAN – what have we learnt so far? 34 Creating a clearer image of Australian Wagyu 39 Sire Progeny Test shows early positives with Net Feed

34 46

Intake program 41 Wagyu trends in live animal markets 46 Be part of a brand not a price taker 49

Demand for F1 Wagyu in family

49

restaurants continues

Publisher THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU ASSOCIATION (AWA) office@wagyu.org.au 02 6773 3355 Consulting Editor DEBORAH ANDRICH deb@wagyu.com.au 0400 855 040 Contributing Writers PETER GILMOUR, Dr. MATT McDONAGH ROB BANKS and STEPHANIE GRILLS Art Direction HEATHER FRAZIER heather@wagyu.org.au 0432 949 764 GENERAL ENQUIRIES AWA Chief Executive Officer Dr. MATT McDONAGH office@wagyu.org.au

02 6773 3990

Wagyu Update advertising enquiries HEATHER FRAZIER heather@wagyu.org.au 0432 949 764

ON THE COVER

Touring the central highlands of Queensland; delegates got the opportunity to learn from their peers and industry leaders on farm. The Australian Wagyu Update magazine is printed by Litho Art on paper stock derived from sustainable forests managed to ensure their renewability and preserve natural eco-systems for generations to come. All content is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in The Australian Wagyu Update magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers. Acceptance of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of any product or service by the magazine or the association, nor support any claims by the advertisers. Every effort is made to ensure information contained in this magazine is correct at the time of publishing.

CONNECT WITH US

www.wagyu.org.au /AustWagyuAssoc /AustralianWagyuAssociation /Wagyu


president PETER GILMOUR

CHALLENGES FOR WAGYU INDUSTRY AND RESILIENCE Dear Members, The cyclical nature of Wagyu beef production and the more demanding environmental challenges particularly the extremely difficult drought conditions that have prevailed across New South Wales and Queensland have no doubt created some tough times for our members. We do hope you have been able to work through this and can create the resilience required to manage your business going forward. On the upside the demand for Australian Wagyu boxed beef remains solid from major international markets. Wagyu breeding, feeding and marketing has navigated its way through some turbulent times and in the future we face uncertain challenges in feeding a growing world population while adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change. In 2014 the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) was signed and brought into law in 2015. One result of the agreement was projected lower tariffs for Australian beef production to Japan and on the Japanese side to allow Japanese Wagyu to be sold again in Australia. At the recent relaunch in Sydney of “Japanese Wagyu Beef to Australia”, attended by wholesalers, retailers and restaurants three key points were made to characterise Japanese Wagyu; genuine nose print registered fullblood Wagyu cattle (Japanese black), soft smooth meat texture and its unique taste and aroma. Therefore registration was identified as paramount for traceability and brand identification, cattle feed systems and feedlot management presented as critical to eating quality and a meat grading system that properly describes the product and 4

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

incorporates all these attributes. Excitingly we have all these services and skills within our industry and now with the anticipated roll out of the MIJ-30 Camera this will allow our members to compete for relevant market share. On all aspects our members can deliver but it reminds one of the importance to continue producing a high level of traceability and provenance, great consistent eating quality product and well described with appropriate point of sale material.

2018 AGM DATE AND LOCATION SET

The following key initiatives continue to be guided by the Board and staff of the AWA, some of which will be expanded upon in the CEO Report.

We would like to invite any members

»» Improving MiP to SNP genotyping and

the AWA election process. The Board needs

registration »» BreedObject Indexes in Self Replacing herd and Terminal

The Board approved the AGM of the Australian Wagyu Association to be held in Armidale on the 31st October 2018. Along with the AGM, a Nutrition and Genetics workshop will be held with highprofile speakers invited to present to AWA members. We will hold an evening dinner event on the 31st October following the AGM. interested in running for the AWA Board to nominate by the due date of 17th September 2018 so you may then be included within an inclusive group of Directors with diverse backgrounds and skills right across our supply chain. Don’t be shy, if you think that

»» AWA R&D projects: The AWA continues

sounds like you then please consider offering

with its 3 significant R&D projects funded with Meat & Livestock Australia as follows:

to be a part of the leadership and governance structure of the AWA. Finally, this will be my last Wagyu Update

- Wagyu Collaborative Genetics Research Project

as President of the AWA, I would like to sign

- Crossbred Wagyu Research Project

and effort put in by both present and former

- Net Feed Intake Project

Board members as well as our great team

»» New DNA testing service provider Xytovet »» New lower pricing for DNA services with Neogen Australasia »» No increase in membership or registration fees

off by thanking all for the tremendous time

of staff and contractors led by our CEO, Dr Matt McDonagh, their commitment, enthusiasm and focus is genuinely appreciated. I look forward to hopefully seeing you at the AGM as we present the annual results.

»» Meat image Japan camera EoI process »» Premium Wagyu Sale format to change »» MOU with South Africa »» 2019 conference

Peter Gilmour President Australian Wagyu Association


What are the benefits?

Increased growth rates Sell earlier for higher market prices and have more pasture to run maternal stock Reduce the number of dry cows Early weaning provides flexibility in drought

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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ceo update Dr. MATTHEW McDONAGH

A PROMISING FUTURE AHEAD FOR WAGYU Dear Members, It was very satisfying to see so many of you at our 2018 WagyuEdge

NEW DNA TESTING SERVICE PROVIDERS

Conference in Mackay in May. This year, we had more than 500 in

A Genetic Testing Services Agreement has been executed with a new DNA testing company - Xytovet in Western Australia.

attendance, which is our largest ever crowd. The AWA Board met in Sydney in June 2018 to conduct its quarterly Board meeting coinciding with the end of financial year. The Board also used this occasion to begin a mid-term review of the AWA 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. The meeting addressed a range of key issues including:

BreedObject INDEXES The Board met with Dr Brad Walmsley of the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit to initiate development of new BreedObject indexes. The BreedObject software allows development of different breeding indexes, such as Self-replacing, Fullblood Terminal and F1 Terminal for Wagyu. BreedObject calculates the optimum mix of EBVs for each outcome by placing varying emphasis on, say, the growth, fertility and carcase EBVs.

AWA R&D PROJECTS

NEW PRICING FOR DNA SERVICES WITH NEOGEN AUSTRALASIA As of July 1, DNA testing prices with Neogen Australasia have been reduced for most tests, including reduction of genomic SNP genotyping (50K). Neogen Australasia has also implemented a sample handling surcharge for samples not submitted on Neogen Haircards or Allflex Tissue Sample Units.

NO INCREASE IN MEMBERSHIP OR REGISTRATION FEES The Board have approved no increase in membership and registration fees for FY2019.

APPROVAL OF NEW MEMBERS The Board has approved 39 new full Australian members, 9 full overseas members and 8 associate members for the final quarter of FY2018. The AWA membership now totals 714 including 554 full or life members, an increase of 125 from FY2017.

The AWA has three significant R&D projects funded with Meat &

2018 AGM DATE AND LOCATION SET

Livestock Australia. Updates for these are as follows:

The Board approved the AGM of the Australian Wagyu Association to be held in Armidale, NSW on the evening of the 31st of October 2018 in the Armidale Bowling Club function rooms.

»» Wagyu Collaborative Genetics Research Project: This project has now delivered Wagyu Single-step BREEDPLAN and will continue for another two years, collecting 1,000 carcase records

2018 NUTRITION AND GENETICS WORKSHOP

and genomic profiles each year.

A Nutrition and Genetics workshop will be 31st October 2018 in the Armidale Bowling Club function rooms. High-profile speakers include:

»» Crossbred Wagyu Research Project: This project has now collected 1,500 crossbred genotypes and carcase records within the last 12 months. This project will continue for a further three years, to collect more than 9,000 records to enable evaluation of crossbred data models within Wagyu BREEDPLAN. »» Net Feed Intake project: The Wagyu Net Feed Intake project with Kerwee feedlot is in its fifth intake. Members are encouraged to enter Fullblood slaughter progeny into the project to expedite development of Wagyu EBVs for Net Feed Intake. 6

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

»» Dr John Doyle, speaking on optimising early life nutrition for marbling »» Dr Brad Walmsley, speaking on development of new Wagyu BreedObject indexes »» Catriona Millen, speaking on optimising data recording to improve BREEDPLAN results »» Mr Don Nicol, to speak about using genetic selection tools for Wagyu breeding. »» Aaron van den Heuvel, speaking on implementation of the MIJ-30 digital carcase camera


SAVE THE DATE

31 OCTOBER 2018

AWA-MEAT IMAGE JAPAN CAMERA PROJECT AWA has completed agreements with Meat Image Japan to be the exclusive reseller of MIJ technology within Australia, New Zealand and South Africa with the view to placing ten cameras within the next 12 months. Expression of Interest documents to purchase MIJ cameras will be distributed to members shortly.

FY2019 BUSINESS PLAN AND BUDGET APPROVED The Board have approved the FY2019 AWA Business Plan and Budget as recommended by the Corporate Affairs Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee respectively.

WORKSHOP & AGM ARMIDALE, NSW Nutrition and Genetics Workshop from 10.30am. AWA Annual General Meeting will get underway at 4.30pm

PREMIUM WAGYU SALE FORMAT CHANGE The Board have reviewed changes to the Premium Wagyu Sale format as developed through the AWA Conference and Competitions Committee. The Premium Wagyu Sale will transition to only accepting animals within the top 20% for growth and carcase traits and move to three Premium Wagyu Sales per year (July, Sept/Oct for Bulls and Nov/Dec for Females) plus the Elite Wagyu Sale. This provides members with selling opportunities through four AWA sponsored sales per year and allow for transition of commercial cattle to other platforms.

STAFF UPDATE I am pleased to announce that Joanne Waters has started with us in July as a Member Services Officer. Jo joins Ally, Caroline and Steph to complete our member services team. It is a pleasure to also announce that Aaron van den Heuvel has joined us as our AWA Carcase Camera Technician. Aaron has completed Honours in Animal Science and has five years’ experience in Meat Science research with UNE. Aaron has also worked extensively within several processing facilities and is a great new asset for the AWA.

Location Armidale Bowling Club. A one-day event, the morning and early afternoon sessions will be focussed on genetics and nutrition workshops from guest speakers including: Dr John Doyle (Integrated Animal Production), Catriona Millen (SBTS), Dr Brad Walmsley (AGBU) and Don Nicol (BreedLink) The AGM itself will be conducted in the afternoon, followed by a dinner hosted by the Association. The day promises to be informative and an opportunity for full members to contribute to the function of the Association. Booking information and the event program is available on the AWA website.

www.wagyu.org.au

EVENTS > AGM-WORKSHOP-2018

Dr. Matt McDonagh Chief Executive Officer Australian Wagyu Association THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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TAKING IT TO THE WAGYUEDGE The 2018 Australian Wagyu Association Annual Conference, WagyuEdge, themed Plate to Paddock, has been a wonderful success and met with enthusiasm and approval by those who attended.

The 2018 Australian Wagyu Association Annual Conference, WagyuEdge, themed Plate to Paddock, has been a wonderful success and met with enthusiasm and approval by those who attended. A busy few days in the warmth of Mackay, Queensland, WagyuEdge brought together workshops, key note speakers, networking opportunities, social events, the charity auction, good food – Wagyu of course, and the Elite Wagyu Sale that smashed a few records.

www.wagyu.org.au

EVENTS > CONFERENCE VIDEOS

 BONUS NUTRITION WORKSHOP We were fortunate to have three representatives who understand nutrition at its highest level. John Doyle presented information regarding nutrition and its influence on foetal development and optimisation of nutrition for fat cells for animals up to 250 days (weaning) to gain the best marbling. Unlike other fat deposits in the bovine body,

To round out the week, a tour of producers in the central highlands region of Queensland provided an opportunity to see firsthand how Wagyu production is optimised, reinforcing the messages of the conference.

intramuscular fat (marbling) cells are still

To re-cap on the presentations, here is a brief summary on each. To see the full video of the presentation you can download all, or some, from the Association website.

early life nutrition establishes the amount of

dividing (hyperplasia) after birth up to 250 days of age. Optimising nutrition during this ‘window’ is vital to maximising the number of marbling cells within tissue. This means, marbling that can be achieved later in life and these cells then fill (hypertrophy) during the feedlotting phase. >>> page 10

MARBLING FROM BIRTH TO 250 DAYS

FIGURE 1 the relationship between nutrition and its influence on fat cells to gain the best marbling for animals up to 250 days.

INTRAMUSCULAR FAT

INTERMUSCULAR FAT

ADIPOCYTE HYPERTROPHY ADIPOCYTE HYPERPLASIA

SUBCUTANEOUS FAT

VISCERAL FAT CONCEPTION

ADIPOGENESIS INITIATES

BIRTH

250 DAYS

SLAUGHTER

Courtesy Journal of Animal Science 8

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


SUPPORTING A GOOD CAUSE On Friday 10th August, 2018, the Association presented the Royal Flying Doctor Service with a cheque for $49,375 as our donation from the funds raised during the WagyuEdge 2018 Charity Auction.

AWA CEO Matt McDonagh with Richard Hughes, one of the bidders for the auction items present a cheque for $49,375 to Sarah-Jane Curry from RFDS. Image courtesy BeefCentral

The Auction, held during the Gala Dinner raised just shy of $100,000 and is to be split evenly between the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Wagyu Fellowship Scholarship. Items on offer included works of art, degustation menus at a high profile restaurant, jewellery, holiday packages, semen straws, a signed Rugby jersey shirt, animal identification tools, feedlot allocations, Wagyu steaks and wine.

The Association would like to once again extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our generous donors and bidders on the evening to support such a worthy cause. If you would like to contribute further to the cause contact RFDS through their website

www.flyingdoctor.org.au

FELLOWSHIP

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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Taking it to the WagyuEdge

<<< from page 8 During the Japan Trade Mission, we saw similar results where the animals are fed very well and hit the ground running to maximise growth and marbling throughout their lives. Matt George spoke about early weaning, particularly where in Australia cattle is often grass-fed – by adding the right supplements to make the transition to grain fed – starch for rumen development early on will help with that transition. Getting the nutrition right in the early stages will set the animal up for life. The next phase in life is the move into the feedlot. Philip Dew discussed the need for adequate growth prior to the feedlot to ensure the best marbling outcomes. Marbling is a linear function – it begins from day one and continues to develop for whole of life. A break in optimal nutrition therefore will set the animal back a step before taking a new trajectory. Phil also pointed out that noting the behaviour of an animal when given grain is an opportunity to assess whether it is suitable for the feedlot system or exited. The two workshops presented by Practical Systems gave insights for beginners on how to enter data into StockBook and advanced techniques for improved data analysis. Collecting the data is one thing, being able to make use of it can make the difference to herd performance. Data integration into the Herdbook and BREEDPLAN will enable members to streamline registration and breeding program evaluation.

 DAY 1: KEYNOTE SPEAKER

DON MACKAY, CHAIR, RED MEAT ADVISORY COUNCIL

Don’s background in Wagyu is extensive as is his knowledge of the meat industry as a whole. Don’s key message is that to get the most from your Wagyu business you need to consider becoming part of a Brand supply chain that suits your operation. With several options for Wagyu production – high value fullbloods, high quality F1s, crossbreeds and composites – there are a number of pathways for producers. Working with a supply chain to understand what the end outcome needs to be will enable you to produce the best possible cattle for your situation. To learn more, you can read more about Don’s thoughts on page 46. 10

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

Hall of Fame recipient Lachie Hart, CEO of Stockyard accepts his award from AWA president Peter Gilmour.

RECOGNISING INDUSTRY HEROES Greg Gibbons was recognised with his Australian Wagyu Association Life Membership, awarded in 2016, but presented in 2018 with Greg in attendance. A life membership recognises the contribution made by an individual to the Association and the Wagyu industry while the Hall of Fame reflects contributions to the whole of industry. This year’s Hall of Fame recipient is Lachie Hart, CEO of Stockyard. The Association recognises the work Lachie has done for Wagyu and the meat industry as a whole. You can read more about Lachie’s contributions and thoughts on our website. >>> page 13

www.wagyu.org.au

NEWS & RESOURCES > LATEST NEWS > A HUMBLE MAN BESTOWED WITH WAGYU’S HALL OF FAME


THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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2019 AWA Conference and Tour

#WAGYU

EDGE

BUILDING INTEGRITY

The title Wagyu Edge was such a success in 2018, we’ve decided to keep it and just change the theme. In 2018 the Annual Conference focused on Plate to Paddock, next year, 2019 will be focusing on how our industry can build on breed, product and brand. The Conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre and the Gala Dinner with the Annual Charity Auction will be conducted at the Adelaide Oval. There is no better way to see firsthand how well-established Wagyu producers do that than to visit a couple of the original players in the industry – Mayura Station, South Australia and Nick Sher’s BeefCorp in Victoria. The de Bruin family were one of the first to bring in Japanese genetics from the US and have established a well-respected, vertically integrated fullblood operation in polled Wagyu. The Sher family were also one of the first to import US Wagyu, establishing a Wagyu property back in 1991 and now supply fullblood and F1 Wagyu to domestic and international markets. We can expect to see and learn from two industry experts what they have learned along their journey and where they see their futures heading. The journey from Adelaide to Mayura and Sher properties will feature a Mothers’ Day breakfast at a Coonawarra winery. The final stop will be at Genetics Australia in Bacchus Marsh. A co-operative operation, Genetics Australia specialises in artificial breeding technology for cattle into beef and dairy industries. Tour delegates will then continue to Melbourne Airport for flights home or to make their way into the city. Sponsorship and trade show opportunity details will be available by late September along with registration details for attendees.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

2018

The Association’s Annual General Meeting is to be held on 31st October, 2018 in Armidale, NSW. A one-day event, the morning and early afternoon sessions will be focussed on genetics and nutrition workshops from guest speakers including Dr John Doyle (Integrated Animal Production), Catriona Millen (SBTS), Dr Brad Walmsley (AGBU) and Don Nicol (BreedLink). The AGM itself will be conducted in the afternoon, followed by a dinner hosted by the Association. To be held at the Armidale Bowling Club, the day promises to be informative and an opportunity for Full Members to contribute to the function of the Association. Invitations for registration to the event will be emailed to members in September. The registration fee includes full day attendance to the workshops, full catering throughout the day and the Dinner. Travel and accommodation is not included and at the onus of the delegate to organise. A full list including contact details can be found at this link.

REGISTER ONLINE The Adelaide Convention Centre will play host to the 2019 Annual Conference – WagyuEdge 2019 – Building Integrity.

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

»

www.wagyu.org.au

EVENTS > AGM-WORKSHOP-2018

For general enquiries contact Bradley Hayden AWA Events Manager 0412 461 392 bradley@wagyu.org.au


Taking it to the WagyuEdge

Other breeds may aim for higher marbling but will never attain the eating experience that comes with Wagyu because of the unique make-up of the Wagyu fat Professor Aduli

<<< from page 10

SEAN STARLING, R&D MEAT & LIVESTOCK AUSTRALIA The future of the meat industry is seen to be based on objectivity and automation and is often driven by consumer demand and takes in processing, feedlots, on-farm and the value chain, through technologies such as DEXA and CT systems for carcase assessment; automation systems for processing and traceability through IoT and Blockchain.

THE KING OF BEEF – IT’S IN THE FAT Professor Aduli spoke at length about the science behind the fats in Wagyu which as he calls it, makes it the King of Beef. The high levels of monounsaturated fats gives it a low melting point which is unique to Wagyu. Other breeds may aim for higher marbling but will never attain the eating experience that comes with Wagyu because of the unique make-up of the Wagyu fat. Professor Aduli described that with the heritability of marbling composition being high – as much as 68% - the opportunity is there to look for the right gene to enhance those qualities in the future.

THE MAYURA STORY Vertical integration is the key to the success of Mayura Station, where there is a focus on the consumer. By understanding what the consumer wants, Scott deBruin explained that the company had worked back through the production system to achieve those results. Part of that success is based on data for carcase traits such as eye muscle area, breeding and nutrition to bring significant

improvements to the overall production and carcase profitability from conception to consumption.

PERSPECTIVE ON THE FEEDLOT SYSTEM Kerwee Feedlot under the guidance of Steve Martin highlighted that producers need to understand the input costs and relative value across the supply chain. For the industry to be viable and sustainable, part of the breeding decision needs to focus around which animals will be profitable for the whole supply chain. Feeding costs for example in the feedlot are around 46% of all input costs, so an animal that does not convert feed to growth and marbling efficiently, may not be viable. The AWA Net Feed Intake program results showed that there can be enormous variations between animals. Results indicate that there is a feed cost variability of $350 between the top performers and the lowest within a pen. But when the carcase is taken into account, there can be up to $1700 variation in carcase value. Progeny from top performing bulls can be on average $1,000 more profitable than the average taking into account feed intake and carcase value. More information and results thus far can be found on page 39.

FIVE STAR RESORT FOR CATTLE In a candid presentation, Dr Kevin Sullivan discussed bonding between a calf and its mother and how this sets up the calf for long-term performance. In the comfort of an environment that cattle might

consider to be a five-star resort, making sure the bonds are established early will ensure the calf receives good colostrum from it’s mother to fight infection, scours and dehydration but also sets up for good nutrition later in life. More often than not, a poor immune system is a result of poor bonding and poor nutrition in the first weeks of life. Treating the cause (colostrum and milk intake), not the symptom of scours was stressed. Further, correct handling of mother and calf and preparing for weaning and separation begins well before the wean date. A soft as possible weaning is about acclimation – get the calf used to being away from its mother right from the outset. This will reduce the stress of weaning on the calf and reduce liveweight setbacks.

THE BIG STEP TO SINGLESTEP Rob Banks showed us that SingleStep is a revolutionary technology for Wagyu as it takes in pedigree, genomics and performance data to improve the accuracy of EBVs. With more accurate EBVs, breeders can have more confidence to use these tools to increase of weaning weights, carcase weights and marble score. Rob made the comment that Wagyu cattle have an exceptional engine under the bonnet that allow them to achieve their unique carcase results. Rob defined that using the right strategy, Wagyu can triple the rate for genetic gain for the traits is deems are most valuable. To read more about the SingleStep advantage see page 29. >>> page 15 THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


Taking it to the WagyuEdge <<< from page 13

 DAY 2: WAGYU EDGE CONFERENCE

SIMON COATES - AN INDUSTRY PIONEER AND THE SUMO STORY Wagyu was regarded in the early days as being like ‘black ostrich farming’ and unlikely to succeed. Simon’s story of persistence and his role along with the 10 to 15 other Wagyu pioneers in setting up the Australian industry using the Tajima, Shimane and Tottori lines was inspirational. Simon reviewed his focus on Tajima and Shimane crosses, targeting typically 60:40 Tajima:Shimane. Smart breeding programs have given Simon optimised marbling and growth and his reputation as a quality Wagyu breeder is second to none. As an Association it is important to support our industry leaders to make the next move forward just as Simon has done in the past.

SEEING BLACK AND RED Classified as one of four Japanese breeds of cattle, the Red Wagyu displays many of the same characteristics associated with Black Wagyu. Barbara Robert-Thomson, one of a few breeders of Red Wagyu in Australia highlighted that aspects of Red Wagyu make them highly suited to surviving in Australia’s hotter, more tropical climates. Genetic improvement through BREEDPLAN has given Barbara some high-quality Red animals that are performing well against their Black cousins. Barbara also challenged the audience to consider ways of embracing polledness in the Australian Wagyu herd.

THE RISING STARS Charlie Perry of Trent Bridge Wagyu and Samantha Connolly at Pandanus are two of the rising stars of the Wagyu industry. In his first year with the AWA Board, Charlie is our Honorary Treasurer and represented the Wagyu industry at the National Young Breed Leader workshop. The Trent Bridge philosophy of working with feedlotters to get the best possible outcome re-iterates the messages given by Don Mackay and Steve Martin. The Young Breed Leaders workshop gave Charlie an opportunity to network with future leaders in the beef breeding sector

to discuss the issues facing the industry and develop leadership to resolve them. Issues covered genomics and genetic gain in a shorter time frame, the future of breed societies and their role in the greater market and succession planning. Charlie gave a great example of where he recently applied his genomic learnings within his herd and used 50K genomic testing to determine the relative genetic merit ranking between a line of embryo flush-brothers to identify which individuals have the best genetic potential. Sam Connolly is the current recipient of the Wagyu Fellowship Program which aims to support the development of our Wagyu industries best and brightest by supporting project-based learning. Sam’s interest is in artificial insemination techniques and through the Wagyu Fellowship, the AWA is supporting her to undertake a PhD in genetics improvement linked to fertility and artificial breeding. In her research travels, Sam visited the US to learn more about current practices and to compare against Australian practices.

JAPAN TRADE MISSION The attendees of the Japanese Trade Mission held in 2017 gave delegates an opportunity to learn more about what is possible for Wagyu genetics and nutrition. It was noted that a key difference between Australia and Japan is our cost of production, with our grass-fed cow herd and late weaning (compared to Japan) providing the Australian system with significant cost-advantages to the Japanese model. However, despite our relative costeffectiveness, we need to better optimise nutrition whole-of-life to improve our carcase quality outcomes. The impact of past Biosecurity breeches (Foot and Mouth Disease) on industry value and loss of genetic resources was also noted, with Australia’s strong image in this space vital to protect.

#WagyuEdge PLATE TO PADDOCK TOUR

 DAY 3 & 4: WAGYU EDGE TOUR THE GRAND TOUR

The central highlands of Queensland are home to a number of large holdings for Wagyu producers, not the least of which is Wally Rae, Paul Harris and Darren Hamblin. First port of call was Hamblin’s Strathdale Campdraft grounds before moving groups to Bo and Lisa Hatfield’s Vickivale and the Hamblin’s Pandanus property. In a rare appearance, Wally Rae spoke with Bo about his Wagyu endeavours on The Overflow as well as the work undertaken at Vickivale. At Pandanus, Sam Connolly spoke about the reproductive systems used on the property. The scale at which development of polled-genetic programs had been applied was on display. At Strathdale, the focus of learning was on our increasing ability to record data with new technologies and using information management systems to make sense of this and provide information to Wagyu BREEPLDAN. Saturday evening was at Nebo – a small town with a strong history in cattle. The tour was treated to an evening under-lights with campdraft cutting, great food and entertainment plus a sojurn at the Nebo Hotel gave a few headaches for the morning busride, but was thoroughly enjoyed. >>> page 16 THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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Taking it to the WagyuEdge

<<< from page 15 The bus trip to Ten Mile Station, home to Paul and Clare Harris and their dedicated team, took us through some of the heartland of Australian Wagyu, including Tierawoomba and The Overflow. The narration by Peter Hughes, Georgina Pastoral Co, describing his operations through the undulating landscape southwest of Nebo and he gave a wonderful insight into how well Wagyu can forage and thrive. In Peter’s words, ‘if there is a blade of grass up a log, there will be a Wagyu up there going after it’. Wagyu have changed what is possible in this country. The Cooper Creek district of the Queensland highlands still has evidence of the devastation of Cyclone Debbie more than 12 months ago, but Sunland Cattle Co at Ten Mile Station is continuing to grow. With nearly 17,000 acres of grazing freehold and frontage to the Mackenzie River, the Harris family run approximately 11,000 fullblood and purebred cattle across two properties achieving on average 430kg – 450kg live weight and well above average marbling score and cwt using Leucaena-based grazing systems on a large scale, matched to exceptional breeding programs. A late dash to Beef Breeding Services outside Rockhampton, gave an insight into how artificial reproduction systems can benefit not only genetic improvements but also give an opportunity to gain export certification for semen and embryos. Winding up a sensational tour, guests returned back to Rockhampton to return home or stay on for Beef2018.

THE WAGYU COMMUNITY Although the key focus for all at the WagyuEdge Conference and tour is learning from our peers and industry leaders, the annual conference also presents an opportunity to catch up and network. To facilitate that the Association hosts a Welcome Dinner and Gala Dinner. Menus at these events focus on the eating experience of Wagyu – and to complement this year’s theme of Plate to Paddock, a range of cuts from across the whole carcase were showcased. FROM TOP Sam Connolly spoke to Wagyu Edge tour group about the reproductive systems used on the property Pandanus. The team at the Beef Breeding Service gave an insight into their artificial reproduction systems. The Gala dinner that raised nearly $100,000 in the charity auction. Delegates get to sample the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition entries at the Conference. 16

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

At this year’s Gala Dinner, the Annual Charity Auction raised nearly $100,000, which will be split evenly between the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Wagyu Fellowship Program. Your support is deeply meaningful for both worthwhile causes. The Association as a whole, would like thank the very generous support of donors and bidders on the night to give a successful outcome. All present were amazed by the generosity of those bidding for the range of high quality donated items. In August, CEO Matt McDonagh was honoured to be able to present the donation cheque to the Royal Flying Doctor Service during EKKA in Brisbane on behalf of our AWA members. In celebration of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition, the closing luncheon provided delegates to sample the winning Brands. For a list of the winners, see page 19.


SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


WAGYU BRANDED BEEF

WA BR BE

COMPETITION

WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION CHAMPION 2018 GRAND CHAMPION WAGYU BRAND

WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION The 2018 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition Awards conducted by the Australian Wagyu Association were presented at the Annual Conference, WagyuEdge.

THE WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION 2018 WINNERS THE GRAND CHAMPION

WINNER MORT & CO, 'THE PHOENIX'

CLASS 1 100% FULLBLOOD WAGYU

Using striploin, each entrant is judged on visual appeal as an uncooked product. Each sample is placed in a sous vide for 15 minutes to the optimum Wagyu temperature of 60°C, then cooked on a grill for little more than a minute on each side to allow caramelisation before resting for five minutes. Judges allocate points on tenderness, flavour, juiciness and overall appeal. The Grand Champion for Wagyu steak is calculated on the highest scores across all three Classes. In a fourth class, the Gourmet Sausage, judging is based on raw and cooked attributes: visual appeal both outside and inside in raw format; how it looks and tastes once cooked. Entries for the 2019 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition will open in early December. Judging will take place at Redlands RSL, Queensland on March 14th, 2019 winners announced at the AWA Annual Conference Gala Dinner to be held in Adelaide, May 2019.

GOLD MEDAL

Mayura Station, Mayura Wagyu SIRE ADBFA0139 SCORE 789

MARBLING 58%

DAM ADBFJ0177 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.00

RBA 149.0

DAYS FED 300

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 26 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 450kg

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 30 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 440kg

Black Diamond, Macquarie Wagyu SIRE SMOFF0278

The Grand Champion of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition was taken out by Mort & Co for their brand, The Phoenix, with the highest ever Branded Beef Competition score of 803 points out of the maximum possible 910 points. The judges described the beef as ‘glorious, an extremely tender, juicy and beefy flavoured meat with enduring bold flavour’. The Grand Champion was sourced from Queensland Breeders Selwyn and Jocelyn Maller of Hamilton Park Wagyu.

COM

SCORE 751

MARBLING 42%

DAM BDWFJ0296 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.30

RBA 121.0

DAYS FED 489

SILVER MEDAL

Shiro Kin Fullblood Wagyu SIRE N/A SCORE 699

MARBLING 51%

DAM N/A FINENESS OF MARBLING 3.20

RBA 104.2

DAYS FED 463

CLASS 2 CROSSBRED WAGYU

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 34 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 380kg

GOLD MEDAL

The Phoenix, Hamilton Park Pastoral SIRE N/A SCORE 803

MARBLING 44%

DAM F2 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.90

RBA 123.7

DAYS FED 450

AGE AT SLAUGHTER N/A

CARCASE WEIGHT 420kg

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 38 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 420kg

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 30 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 410kg

Stockyard Black, Wally Rae Cattle Company SIRE N/A SCORE 753

MARBLING 50%

DAM F4 FINENESS OF MARBLING 3.30

RBA 128.6

DAYS FED 400

Jack’s Creek Wagyu, David and Phillip Warmoll SIRE GASFC0502 SCORE 751

MARBLING 36%

DAM F2 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.80

RBA 121.0

DAYS FED 450

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

19


Wagyu Branded Beef Competition 2018 winners

SILVER MEDAL

DMC Black SIRE N/A SCORE 721

MARBLING 40%

DAM N/A FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.50

RBA 111.8

DAYS FED N/A

AGE AT SLAUGHTER N/A

CARCASE WEIGHT 440kg

First Growth Wagyu, Pardoo Meat Corporation, Georgina Pastoral SIRE N/A SCORE 720

MARBLING 51%

DAM F2 - 75% FINENESS OF MARBLING 3.10

RBA 94.7

DAYS FED 420

SCORE 677

MARBLING 33%

CARCASE WEIGHT 450kg

BRONZE MEDAL

Tajima Wagyu, Andrews Meat Industries SIRE N/A

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 38 months

DAM F1 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.90

RBA 105.0

DAYS FED 387

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 30 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 400kg

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 28 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 465kg

WX9, Rangers Valley SIRE N/A SCORE 647

MARBLING 43%

DAM F1 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.60

RBA 106.5

DAYS FED 367

CLASS 3 COMMERCIAL WAGYU (MS 5-7)

The judging panel for the 2018 Wagyu Branded Competition and below, the panel assess each entry.

GOLD MEDAL

Stockyard Silver, Wally Rae Cattle Company SIRE N/A SCORE 721

MARBLING 44%

DAM F4 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.90

RBA 123.7

DAYS FED 450

AGE AT SLAUGHTER N/A

CARCASE WEIGHT 420kg

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 28 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 400kg

Tajima Wagyu, Andrews Meat Industries SIRE N/A SCORE 720

MARBLING 31%

DAM F1 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.80

RBA 87.5

DAYS FED 380

SILVER MEDAL

The Phoenix, Wentworth Cattle Co SIRE N/A SCORE 711

MARBLING 34%

DAM F2 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.70

RBA 108.9

DAYS FED 450

AGE AT SLAUGHTER N/A

CARCASE WEIGHT 420kg

SCORE 678

MARBLING 22%

DAM F2 FINENESS OF MARBLING 2.50

RBA 125.8

DAYS FED 450

SIRE N/A SCORE 658

MARBLING 31%

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 30 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 410kg

BRONZE MEDAL

WX5+, Rangers Valley DAM F2 FINENESS OF MARBLING 1.9

RBA 105.1

DAYS FED 372

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 32 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 465kg

First Growth Wagyu, Pardoo Meat Corporation, Georgina Pastoral SIRE N/A SCORE 652

20

MARBLING 26%

DAM F2 FINENESS OF MARBLING 3.30

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

RBA 82.5

DAYS FED 420

GOLD MEDAL

Kobe’s Gourmet Butchery: Triple P Wagyu Sausage

Jack’s Creek F1 Wagyu, David and Phillip Warmoll SIRE GOSFF0638

CLASS 4 GOURMET SAUSAGE

AGE AT SLAUGHTER 38 months

CARCASE WEIGHT 420kg

SCORE 1224

INGREDIENTS Wagyu Brisket and chuck, pecan, pear and Grand Pandano Cheese

FLAVOUR / SEASONING N/A

Kobe’s Gourmet Butchery: Luganagi di Valtelina SCORE 1186

INGREDIENTS Wagyu Brisket and chuck, Berkshire pork belly

SILVER MEDAL

FLAVOUR / SEASONING SALES / MONTH Cloves, garlic, pimento, 150kg cinnamon and Nebbiolo wine

Mathie’s Meat Shoppe: Wagyu beef and Blue Cheese SCORE 1147

SALES / MONTH 150kg

INGREDIENTS FLAVOUR / SEASONING Wagyu Brisket and blue Blue cheese cheese, meal

BRONZE MEDAL SALES / MONTH 100 kg


WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION

WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION

BE BOLD BE BRANDED BE WAGYU The Wagyu Branded Beef Competition is the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual showcase for Wagyu brand owners to compete and achieve the very best in Australian Wagyu. Hosted by the Australian Wagyu Association, the 2019 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition presents awards in four classes: Fullblood Wagyu, Crossbred Wagyu, Commercial Wagyu and Gourmet Sausage. The Competition gives promotion to Wagyu brand owners; and butchers to create the most decadent sausages imaginable. Overseeing the event once more will be Chef John Alexander, who says that the competition gives the Wagyu industry a chance to show consumers just how exceptional Australian Wagyu can be for the pinnacle of fine dining, retail and hospitality. Entries will open for the Competition in December, while judging will take place at Redlands RSL, Queensland, on the 14th March, 2019. Winners will be announced at the 2019 Annual Conference Gala Dinner, to be held in Adelaide, in May 2019.

WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION CHAMPION 2018 GRAND CHAMPION WAGYU BRAND

Grand Champion Wagyu Brand entry won by Mort & Co and above, competition sponsor John Kilroy from Cha Cha Char Wine Bar and Grill presents the Mort & Co team on their win.

Judging of the Wagyu beef is based on five criteria: visual appeal (raw and cooked), juiciness, flavour, aroma and the physical sensation in your mouth. Last year saw the highest scores ever achieved within the Branded Beef Competition across all categories of entry, with the judges remarking at the consistently outstanding quality put forward. Points are awarded for each criteria and the top winners receive Gold, Silver and Bronze recognition. The entry with the most points across all three categories is deemed the Grand Champion of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition. Be part of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier Wagyu Branded Beef Competition. Entry forms will be available on www.wagyu. org.au in early December.

www.wagyu.org.au

NEWS & RESOURCES > EVENTS > 2019 WAGYU BRANDED BEEF COMPETITION

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

21


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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


PARENT VERIFICATION: MIPS TO SNPS When transferring over to SNP, a proportion of your progeny may then have to also be MiP tested, which means they will have both a MiP and SNP genotype. This ‘clean-up’ using MiPs will only occur for a proportion of your progeny for one generation in your herd.

FIGURE 1 - explains the reasons why progeny many not be able to be parent verified using SNPs.

PROGENY HAS SNP BUT UNABLE TO P.V

The flowchart shown in Figure 1 displays the reasons why one of your progeny may not be able to be parent verified using SNPs and why they may then be required to also be tested on MiPs. 1. SNP genotype of parents not yet conducted – A SNP test has not yet been requested for the parent(s). Please submit a new DNA Test Request to the AWA. 2. Parent sample failed DNA SNP Testing – SNP Testing was requested however a result was not able to be obtained OR a parent DNA sample is not suitable for testing. In this instance you will have received a recollect file. a. If a new sample is able to be obtained – please collect a new sample and submit a new DNA Test Request to the AWA for parents to be tested on SNP.

PARENTS HAVE NO SNP

SNP GENOTYPE OF PARENTS NOT YET CONDUCTED

PARENT SAMPLE FAILED DNA SNP TESTING

PARENT DNA SAMPLE NOT SUITABLE FOR TESTING

SUBMIT NEW DNA TEST REQUEST TO THE AWA

NEW PARENT SAMPLE AVAILABLE

NO NEW PARENT SAMPLE AVAILABLE

COLLECT PARENT DNA SAMPLE REQUIRED

RE-TEST PROGENY ON MiP TO P.V

SUBMIT NEW DNA TEST REQUEST TO THE AWA

SUBMIT NEW DNA TEST REQUEST TO THE AWA

b. If a new sample is not able to be obtained – the progeny will then have to be re-tested on MiPs in order to be parent verified. This progeny will then have both a MiP and a SNP genotype. Future generations can then be parent verified using SNPs. Please send in a new DNA Test Request to have the progeny tested and parent verified on MiPs. UPDATE

TH E AUSTRALIAN

WAGYU

OTHER REFERENCES FOR SNP PARENT VERIFICATION

Vol. 67 The Wagyu industry’s premier trade magazine produced by the Australian Wagyu Association www.wagyu.org.au December 2017

2017 ZENKYO WAGYU SHOW tour highlight

ISSUE 67 page 29-30

ISSUE 68 page 46-49

INSIDE ....

| WAGYU VALUE-ADD | WAGYU PRODUCTION FORECASTS | DNA TESTING CHANGES EXCITING 2018 CONFERENCE PROGRAM | PHYSIO RETURNS TO FARM | 60 YEARS AND EXPANDING NEW SIRE TEST PROGRAM UNDERWAY | FOCUS ON MEAT QUALITY | MAKE YOUR BRAND EVEN BIGGER

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

23


PLANNING TO GET MOST OUT OF YOUR PERFORMANCE RECORDING Improve the accuracy of the EBVs in Wagyu BREEDPLAN by submitting performance data requires some planning. To get the best bang for your buck it is important to understand the parameters of contemporary groups when it comes to Wagyu. Australian Wagyu Association CEO, Dr Matt McDonagh explains how it works.

CONTEMPORARY GROUPS IN WAGYU BREEDPLAN Wagyu BREEDPLAN is a genetic evaluation system that produces Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for a range of important production traits for example weight, carcase and fertility. EBVs are an estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for a production trait. Included in the calculation of EBVs are the animal’s own performance, the performance of known relatives, the heritability of each trait and the relationships between different traits. A range of factors influence how performance data is used within Wagyu BREEDPLAN, with things like heritability (the amount of the observed trait that is due to genes) and contemporary group size being two important ones. »» A contemporary group is considered to be animals of the same

sex, born within the same herd within a 60-day period and managed together as one mob. »» Comparing animals in a contemporary group allows us to better

determine the difference between individuals that is due to genes. »» The size of a contemporary group influences the accuracy of EBVs

– 10 in the group gives reasonable results for small herds, but the more the merrier. »» Heritability in most traits as measured in most beef breeds is

generally less than 50%, which means the majority of observed variation between individuals is not due to genes. »» Through BREEDPLAN, EBVs are calculated to give an

indication of the animal’s genetic merit for production.

Contemporary groups allow us to better determine the difference between individuals that is due to genes.

contemporary group size increases. A performance record in a single animal contemporary group is not used by BREEDPLAN. It can be accepted and loaded into the database, but it is not informative in BREEDPLAN. It’s like trying to compare one apple to a box of oranges. A performance record in a contemporary group size of two is 50% effective and starts to give some usable data to BREEDPLAN. This increases as contemporary group size increases as shown in Figure 1 (see page 27). To support an animals own EBV, once you get past a contemporary group size of six, the benefit of more individuals in the contemporary group starts to level out. It is a different story if you are looking to improve a sires EBV - as explained shortly. The other part of the equation is Heritability and how other traits influence the trait of interest. Using marble score as an example – a highly desirable trait for Wagyu – the EBV data for an individual animal is calculated as follows:

SO, HOW DOES AN ANIMAL’S OWN PERFORMANCE RECORD CONTRIBUTE TO ITS OWN EBV?

Firstly, from a contemporary group of six, where a steer with marble score record of 9 in a contemporary group with an average of 7.8, BREEDPLAN uses the difference between the 9 and 7.8 which is 1.2.

The effectiveness of an individual animal’s performance data to contribute to its own EBV within BREEDPLAN increases as a

Secondly, as the contemporary group size is six, the effectiveness of the performance information is 85% (0.85 from Figure 1).

24

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


RECORD OF EFFECTIVENESS

FIGURE 1 Effectiveness of contemporary group size on EBV data (Courtesy of SBTS).

EFFECTIVENESS OF PERFORMANCE

CONTEMPORARY GROUP SIZE Thirdly, through the AWA Wagyu Collaborative Genetics Research Project, the marble score trait within Wagyu BREEDPLAN has been determined to be 30% heritable. This means that 70% of the difference between animals can be attributed to environment, management, or measurement error, and is not due to genes. A factor of 0.3 is applied to account for heritability of marble score. Finally, the animal’s mid-parent EBV is used as the base. In this example, we will use a stating mid-parent EBV of +0.2 for marble score. The EBV would be calculated (roughly) as follows: »» The effect of the performance record is: 1.2 X 0.85 X 0.3 = +0.3 »» This is added to the original mid parent EBV (+0.2) = +0.5 for a new animal EBV As the EBV is estimating the genetics, not the phenotype, the mid-parent EBV is the starting point and this EBV is adjusted according to the individuals own record, based on their difference to the average of the contemporary group. This example is very approximate and done for the purpose of explaining the concept. It does not account for other adjustments that would be made for other factors such as correlated traits and link-Sire rankings which are also considered within Wagyu BREEDPLAN.

MINIMUM CONTEMPORARY GROUPS FOR INFORMING SIRES EBV’S For carcase traits in BREEDPLAN, a contemporary group can be considered to be animals of the same sex which are born within an individual herd in a 60-day period and are managed together as one mob under the same conditions until slaughter. A Sire’s EBV will be influenced by the data from its progeny in a manner consistent with that described above. The number of animals within a contemporary group will also affect EBV accuracy. Assuming a Sire starts with 0% accuracy for the MS EBV as shown in Table 1, with a minimum contemporary group size of 10, with five progeny derived from each of two different sires, the increase in accuracy is 0.4 (40%) if the Sire had 0% accuracy previously.

TABLE 1 Effectiveness of progeny number at 30% trait heritability

NUMBER OF SIRE'S PROGENY

5

5

5

10

10

20

PROGENY BY OTHER SIRES

5

10

20

10

20

20

EFFECTIVE PROGENY NUMBER

2.5

3.3

4

5

6.7

10

APPROX. EBV ACCURACY

0.4

0.45

0.48

0.52

0.58

0.65

If a sire had 50% accuracy previously, then the above scenario would increase the Sire’s accuracy by half of 0.4 = 0.2 (20%), roughly, to about 70% accuracy. If a sire had 50% accuracy previously, and 10 progeny from this Sire, along with 10 progeny from another Sire were provided within the same contemporary group, the Sires accuracy would increase by half of 0.52 = 0.26 (26%), roughly, to about 76% accuracy. In the above example, it is presumed that the other sire in the contemporary group is a well proven Link Sire that has a marble score EBV accuracy of greater than 80%. Please consider the above as indicative only, as these examples and calculations provided would be influenced by other factors considered within Wagyu BREEDPLAN. This explanation is designed to provide a simple understanding only and is not meant to be an accurate reflection of what happens within the full range of traits and management variations that occur across different production systems.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR HERDS LOOKING TO CONTRIBUTE DATA TO BREEDPLAN In general, based on the example above, a contemporary group of 10 animals from two sires should be seen as a minimum. These animals need to be the same sex. Hence, in breeding to produce a contemporary group to improve the accuracy of your sire, consider mating 24 females to two sires (12 each) as a bare minimum. On average, six from each sire will be potential male slaughter stock, with five >>> page 28 THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

25


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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PLANNING TO GET MOST OUT OF YOUR PERFORMANCE RECORDING WHAT IS HERITABILITY? Heritability is the proportion of what you see in an animal that is due to genes. Heritability of most traits is less than 50%. This means that for most traits, the majority of what you see expressed in an animal is due to the environment or management of the animal.

HOW DOES MANAGEMENT OR ENVIRONMENT EFFECT GENETIC POTENTIAL OF AN ANIMAL? Nutrition and management have a large effect (more than 50%) on what you see expressed in an animal. For this reason, it is difficult to make assumptions about genetic potential of animals based on physical observations of an animal alone. Wagyu BREEDPLAN uses performance information from contemporary groups, pedigree and genomic (DNA) information to determine genetic merit.

WHY IS SUBMITTING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION TO WAGYU BREEDPLAN IMPORTANT? Performance information (performance records) are measurements taken on animals that describe their characteristics, such as growth, maternal or carcase. Wagyu BREEDPLAN uses this information along with pedigree and DNA information to determine the genetic merit of animals. Performance information affects EBV values and the accuracy of EBVs. Getting reliable EBVs depends on getting good

WHAT IF I ONLY HAVE FOUR CARCASE RECORDS FROM A VARIETY OF SIRES? The data cannot be used in BREEDPLAN and will not have any effect on the EBVs of the sires. Even large numbers of individual carcass records that do not meet the basic contemporary group requirements will similarly have no impact on sire EBVs. These observations can not be compared effectively if they are not in appropriate contemporary groups.

IN PRACTICE, DOES THIS MEAN THAT ONLY LARGE VERTICALLY INTEGRATED PRODUCERS ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE BREEDPLAN COMPLIANT DATA FOR USE IN AWA CARCASE EBVS? No, a minimum contemporary group is 10 animals from 2 sires. These animals need to be the same sex. Hence, in breeding to produce a contemporary group to improve the accuracy of your sire, consider mating 24 females to two Sires (12 each) as a bare minimum. On average, six from each Sire will be potential male slaughter stock, with five of each needed for an effective contemporary group

WILL CARCASE RECORDS THAT ARE NON-COMPLIANT WITH BREEDPLAN GO INTO THE AWA WY CARCASE DATABASE?

performance data in contemporary groups.

Yes, even one carcase record is a contribution to the Wagyu carcase database, but it won’t have any effect on the EBVs of an animal

WHAT IS A CONTEMPORARY GROUP?

because BREEDPLAN has nothing to compare it to.

A contemporary group is a group of individuals that were born together and managed as one group for their whole of life. For example, a drop of steer calves from one paddock that are managed together, are then fed in the same feedlot pen and slaughtered at the

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AWA CARCASE DATABASE AND WAGYU BREEDPLAN ANALYSIS?

same facility on the same day.

WHY ARE CONTEMPORARY GROUPS IMPORTANT? Animals in a contemporary group have shared the same production environment whole-of-life. Using their pedigree and DNA information, we are able to compare their relative performance to each other and determine how much is due to their genes and how

The AWA carcase database contains all carcase records supplied by AWA members, it is part of the entire AWA performance recording database. Wagyu BREEDPLAN analysis uses this database but only records those that are in contemporary groups are used to determine genetic merit (EBVs).

much is due to the environment.

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM CONTEMPORARY GROUP REQUIRED FROM YOUR HERD FOR YOUR CARCASE DATA TO CONTRIBUTE TO BREEDPLAN CARCASE EBVS FOR A SIRE? A minimum contemporary group is 10 animals with multiple progeny from more than one sire. For example, five progeny from two different sires = a contemporary group of 10. The progeny needs to be the same sex and one of the sires needs to be well used within industry so your data can be linked to other herds. There is a simple multiplier effect thereafter – for each additional sire, you will need five additional carcase progeny within the contemporary group.

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

27


<<< from page 25 of each needed for an effective contemporary group. It is worth noting that for Wagyu, in small herds with limited opportunity to form contemporary groups based on mating 24 females to two sires, improvement in accuracy in the order of 10% can be achieved through

For more information on how contemporary groups are derived and how small herds can optimise the impact of their data, have a read of the information sheet from SBTS and TBTS.

genomic profiling (using the 50K SNP chip) and submitting this to Wagyu BREEDPLAN.

Performance Recording for Small Herds One of the most common questions asked by seedstock breeders is “What size herd do you need to obtain effective results from BREEDPLAN?” Whilst there is no minimum herd size requirement for herds wishing to participate in BREEDPLAN, the nature of the BREEDPLAN analysis means that there are a number of additional

Comparing animals based on EBVs is more

considerations that small herds need to make to ensure the performance information that they record for their animals can be analysed effectively by BREEDPLAN. There are two main concepts that all herds, regardless

same weighing history) n Have been run under the same conditions (breeder

allocated management group) Therefore small herds must try and ensure there are at least two animals that meet the above criteria if their performance records are to be analysed effectively by in a contemporary group, there are no other “similar” animals to which its performance can be directly compared and thus the performance submitted for it will not be used in the BREEDPLAN analysis, rendering

linkage both within the herd and with other herds in the

on raw data. It is not sound to compare

weight traits) or 60 days (for 400 & 600 day weight, scrotal and scanning traits) of each other n Have been weighed on the same day (& have the

BREEDPLAN. When there is only one animal represented

are contemporary group formation and the creation of genetic linkage. Small herds in particular should look to implement management strategies which maximise the size of their contemporary groups and create genetic breed.

reliable than comparing animals based

n Were born within 45 days (for birth and 200 day

of size, need to understand if they going to obtain effective results from BREEDPLAN. These concepts

CONTEMPORARY GROUP FORMATION

it ineffective. The effectiveness of an individual animal’s performance record increases as more animals are represented within each contemporary group. The effect of the

Although the BREEDPLAN analysis is underpinned by a very sophisticated analytical model, the basic mechanism by which it works is to directly compare the performance of an animal with the performance of other

contemporary group size on the effectiveness of the performance is illustrated in the graph on the following page. The general aim for all herds should be to maximise contemporary group size where possible.

“similar” animals within the same contemporary group. Put simply a contemporary group can be described as animals from the same herd, of a similar age and run under the same conditions i.e. animals that have had the same opportunity to perform.

UNDERSTANDING GENETIC LINKAGE Genetic linkage gives the BREEDPLAN analysis the ability to compare the performance of animals from different contemporary groups. This is particularly

For most performance traits, calves will be analysed in

important for animals running under different conditions

the same contemporary group if they:

in different herds, but also relates to animals in different

n Were bred in the same herd n Are of the same sex n Are of the same birth number (i.e. twins are not

compared to single calves) n Are of the same birth status (i.e. ET calves are not

compared to AI/natural calves) n Were born in the same calving year

contemporary groups within a herd.

www.sbts.une.edu.au TECHNICAL DOCUMENTS > TECHNICAL NOTES > PERFORMANCE RECORDING > PERFORMANCE RECORDING FOR SMALL HERDS (PDF DOWNLOAD)

For example, animals born in the same herd but in different years. For BREEDPLAN to compare animals from different contemporary groups,

each contemporary

group must have some performance recorded progeny from common animals (typically common sires) so that the performance recorded animals in each group are genetically linked.

individual animal data from different production systems to each other and make assumptions about genetic merit. Every production system is different and the

www.breedplan.une.edu.au TECHNICAL > BREEDPLAN TIP SHEETS > RECORDING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION > COLLECTING ABATTOIR CARCASS INFORMATION (PDF DOWNLOAD)

majority of any trait observed is not due to genetics. For this reason, it is also not sound to compare individual animal data from one production system and presume it will perform the same in your production system.

www.breedplan.une.edu.au TECHNICAL > BREEDPLAN TIP SHEETS > SUBMITTING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION TO BREEDPLAN > COMMON PERFORMANCE RECORDING PROBLEMS (PDF DOWNLOAD)

EBVs are the best estimate of genetic merit.

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


WAGYU SINGLESTEP BREEDPLAN WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT SO FAR? It’s now just on five months since Single-step methods were introduced into the Wagyu BREEDPLAN analysis. That’s alongside moving to Single-step in the Brahman, Hereford and Angus breeds in the last year. What have we seen so far and what lessons are being learnt?

SINGLE-STEP – THE KEY POINTS Single-step BREEDPLAN refers to an expansion of the BREEDPLAN analysis to include genotypes of animals. The genotypes – the DNA “read” – range from around 10k panels to a typical 35-50k range. The analysis method includes the genotype information, and uses it to estimate the relationship between animals that have been genotyped somewhat more precisely than can be achieved with traditional pedigree alone. This means that the information about animals obtained from their performance records is “shared” a little more precisely with other animals that have some relationship that is detectable at the genotype level – the SNPs that they have in common. This feature means that EBVs on genotyped animals can be more accurate than traditional BREEDPLAN EBVs. This also means that animals can get EBVs for traits for which they themselves have not been recorded. This second feature has always been possible using traditional pedigree links, but by reading the DNA, we can detect relationships or genetic similarities to a greater extent than with pedigree relationships alone. How useful this second feature is depends on the existence, size and composition of the genomic reference population – animals that have performance records and a genotype.

WHAT HAVE WE OBSERVED SO FAR?

Rob Banks Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit

Firstly, there are very small or negligible changes in the mean or average EBV for basically all traits in all the breeds running Single-step. This is what we would expect – because having the genotype information change how much we know about the individuals, but does not change the performance data on which the EBVs are based. >>> page 30

WHAT DOES THIS REPRESENT FOR WAGYU BREEDERS? DNA samples can be taken from animals very early on in life so that EBVs with reasonable accuracy can be generated on very young stock. This allows better-informed selection and management decisions to be made, such as which animals to use as future elite breeding stock. Alternatively, a breeder may choose to sell the bottom 10% of animals from their herd, and the DNA information will increase the reliability of the culling. Artificial breeding technology is used extensively in Wagyu breeding, particularly generating multiple progeny from single matings using flushing and Embryo Transfer (ET). Individuals produced by an ET program, which are full siblings, only share 50% of common genes (on average) receiving half of mum’s genes and half of dad’s genes. Prior to Single-step BREEDPLAN, they would have all been attributed the same EBVs for all traits, being the mid-parent values between the sire and dam. Using genomic information within Single-step BREEDPLAN, the precise genetic merit of each individual can be determined, and experience to date is already showing how valuable this can be – identifying which individuals in a full-sib family actually received better or worse shares of their grand-parents’ genetic makeup. Putting these two concepts together, a breeder can have more confidence in selecting their best young sires and dams earlier in their life and accelerate their breeding programs. With increased accuracy and reduced time to identify high performing animals, genetic progress can be accelerated.

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

29


SINGLE-STEP V STANDARD EBVS FOR GENOTYPED WAGYU ANIMALS - MARBLING EBV IN SINGLE-STEP BREEDPLAN ANALYSIS 1.5

<<< from page 29

1.0

This does not mean that there are no changes in animals’ EBVs – some animals’ EBVs change (up or down) quite markedly. But this reflects what the DNA is telling us about who those animals are genetically similar to, and this can change either due to detecting errors in pedigrees, and/or to detecting genetic similarity to animals in the reference population. Secondly, the accuracy of EBVs changes – on average modest increases in accuracy are what we see. The increases are larger for animals with genotypes than without, but all animals can get some increase. The amount of increase is not a constant across all traits – it is larger for traits for which the genomic reference population (the animals with genotypes and performance records) is larger, and for traits that are more highly heritable. This applies to each of the breeds. The increases in accuracy also applies to animals that already have performance records as well as to those that don’t. In general terms, the increases in accuracy will be relatively larger for animals without prior information – animals who’s EBVs before genomics had lower accuracy. To illustrate these increases in accuracy, the Table 1 summarises changes in accuracy for different traits in three breeds, for animals with low, and with intermediate, prior accuracy. Note that there is insufficient

0.5 -0.0 -0.5 -1.0

EBV IN STANDARD BREEDPLAN ANALYSIS

-1.5 -1.0

-0.5

0.0

1.5

2.0

performance data for Days to Calving in Wagyu for reliable EBVs.

Wagyu animals born in 2017 and analysed in June 2018.

The difference in increases in accuracy between breeds and traits reflects the size of the genomic reference population for each trait in that breed. For example, the number of animals with records for days to calving and genotypes is larger in Brahman than in Hereford.

The correlation between their Single-step EBVs and EBVs from a Standard Wagyu BREEDPLAN analysis is 0.91 – this means that the animals with favourable EBVs from a non-genomic analysis will on average still rank well on a Single-step analysis. There is however some movement – some animals’ EBVs increase, some decrease from standard to Single-step analysis.

Within a breed, the same thing applies relating to traits – traits with more records in the genomic reference population will see larger increases than traits with fewer records. Thirdly, the correlation between animals’ non-genomic EBV and genomic EBV is very high.We can see this in the example of Single-step and Standard BREEDPLAN EBVs for Marbling in Figure 1, for genotyped TRAITS

WEANING WEIGHT (WWT)

DAYS TO CALVING (DTC)

MARBLING

INCREASE IN ACCURACY FOR ANIMALS WITH 0% PRIOR ACCURACY

35%

24%

18%

INCREASE IN ACCURACY FOR ANIMALS WITH 30% PRIOR ACCURACY

23%

10%

8%

INCREASE IN ACCURACY FOR ANIMALS WITH 0% PRIOR ACCURACY

33%

10%

20%

INCREASE IN ACCURACY FOR ANIMALS WITH 30% PRIOR ACCURACY

20%

3%

12%

INCREASE IN ACCURACY FOR ANIMALS WITH 0% PRIOR ACCURACY

25%

-

25%

INCREASE IN ACCURACY FOR ANIMALS WITH 30% PRIOR ACCURACY

15%

-

15%

BRAHMAN

HEREFORD

WAGYU

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

1.0

FIGURE 1 Marbling correlation for EBVs in Standard and Single-Step Wagyu BREEDPLAN analysis

TABLE 1 Changes in accuracy for EBV traits under Single-step analysis

30

0.5

Fourthly, Single-step is adding accuracy to the EBVs – we’ll examine this by using Marbling again. The chart in Figure 2, shows the accuracy for animals since the beginning of 2017 and with genotypes. (See page 32) The dashed red line is where all the points would be if there was no accuracy benefit from Single-step. This chart has several important messages: »» None of these animals, born in 2017 or later, could have a record themselves for carcase marbling (unless they were slaughtered at under a year of age). Despite this, their EBVs for marbling are ranging in accuracy from around 33% up to 65%. This level of EBV accuracy is in fact what they would get if they could be measured directly for carcase marbling! »» There is a range amongst these animals in their Marbling EBV accuracy – this reflects two things: >>> page 32


THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

31


FIGURE 2

<<< from page 32 Animals with almost no information from relatives – those with EBV accuracy from standard BREEDPLAN of 15-20%, are getting EBV accuracy of 35-40% simply from having a genotype in the Single-step analysis. We estimate that an animal with absolutely no other information at all (which would get EBVs with zero accuracy in standard BREEDPLAN) would currently get an accuracy of around 25% These accuracy impacts will increase as the size of the reference population grows, that is more Wagyu animals with records and genotypes.

EBV ACCURACY SINGLE-STEP AND STANDARD BREEDPLAN - MARBLING

EBV Accuracy for Marbling, Single-step and Standard Wagyu BREEDPLAN analysis. 70 60

EBV ACCURACY - SINGLESTEP BREEDPLAN

50

40 30 20 10

EBV ACCURACY - STANDARD BREEDPLAN

0

10

20

30

40

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KEY MESSAGES »» Single-step BREEDPLAN is producing EBVs, changes in EBVs and changes in accuracy that are in line with what we expect from the theory »» We are seeing modest increases in average EBV accuracy, somewhat larger for animals with genotypes than those without »» We are seeing useful increases in EBV accuracy for those animals whose prior accuracy is lower »» Single-step EBVs line up well with Standard EBVs – the average change is essentially zero; but individual animals can change their EBVs quite markedly. The relationship between Single-step and Standard EBVs is strong, reflected in the high correlations »» The amount of increase in accuracy varies between breeds and traits, and basically reflects the size of the genomic reference population – how many animals in the breed have records for the trait on themselves or close relatives, and have a genotype

FIGURE 3 How genomics is already impacting the way decisions are made on farm.

1.7

MARBLE SCORE

A STORY OF 7 FULL FLUSH SIBLINGS

PRE GENOMICS

1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1

CARCASE WEIGHT

1.0 0

1.7

5

MARBLE SCORE

10

15

20

25

POST GENOMICS

1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3

»» Together, this means that Singlestep BREEDPLAN provides an opportunity to evaluate young animals for more traits, depending on what has been recorded in the breed genomic reference population (what traits, how many animals). 32

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

1.2 1.1

CARCASE WEIGHT

1.0 0

5

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25


RANKED AS TOP 5 % IN THE WAGYU BREED - FULLBLOOD TERMINAL INDEX

LFDFY0004

LFDFY0004 BIRTH DATE: 2 March 2003

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PEDFAJ1742 TERUNAGADOI 1742 IMJFAJ2810 KITATERUYASUDOI J2810 HONGEN (IMP JAP)

PEDFAJ240580 TERUNAHO J240580

PEDFAJ601124 YOSHIMI 3 601124

LFDFY0004 LONGFORD 004

(AI) (ET)

LONGFORD Y4 ranked in top 5% of breed for FULLBLOOD TERMINAL INDEX (FTI) with +$314 - meaning his input into a joining is predicted to bring in an extra $314.

PEDFAJ206526 YOSHIMI J206526 - KURO IKU PEDFA201 MONJIRO J11550

WKSFM0164 WORLD K’S MICHIFUKU

LFDFT0480 LONGFORD MUTSU (AI) (ET)

PEDFAJ472 YASUTANI DOI J472 - KURO IKU

PEDFA215 MICHIKO J655635 (AI)

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WKSFM0139 WORLD K’S HARUKI-2 WKSFL0976 WORLD K’S SUZUTANI 976

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AUGUST 2018 WAGYU BREEDPLAN EBVs

GL

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Acc

86% 94% 93% 93% 93%

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

33


CREATING A CLEARER IMAGE OF AUSTRALIAN WAGYU Objective carcase measurement in the Australian meat industry has been acknowledged as a required step forward in providing supply chains with more precise data than is currently available. To get on the front-foot, the Association is working directly with Meat Image Japan (MIJ) to provide industry with an objective camera system that has been developed for objective carcase measurement for Wagyu quality. The use of the MIJ-30 objective carcase camera will provide a higher level of data on intramuscular fat content (marbling amount), distribution and fineness, rib eye area and colour. With this data, breeders will be better able to identify breeding potential based on objective carcase data, and suppliers to hospitality, retail and export willhave additional objective data to support their brands. Aus-Meat qualified meat graders assess each carcase in a chilled environment at a prescribed period of time after slaughter, using a set of quantitative measurements and qualified reference charts to define the grade. These parameters include carcase weight, P8 fat depth, dentition, ossification, pH, intramuscular fat content (marble score), meat colour, fat colour and eye muscle area. Voluntary additional values can also be included to define the eating quality under Meat Standards Australia. Aus-Meat grading (image pictured - page 37) from marble score (MS) 1 to 9 is equivalent to 1% to 21% of intramuscular fat (IMF%) content as determined by extractable fat (chemical fat). Wagyu can exceed 50% IMF, with other factors such as distribution and fineness also important for eating quality and value. The Japanese system (image pictured - page 37), overseen by the Japan Meat Grading 34

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

IMF% VS BMS, USDA AND AUS-MEAT GRADES 60

INTRAMUSCULAR FAT % (CHEMICAL FAT)

50

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10

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MARBLING GRADING SCORE 0

1

2

3

4

5

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7

8

9

10

11

12

FIGURE 1 Comparison of meat grading systems.

Authority (JMGA) is more complex â&#x20AC;&#x201C; marbling, yield, colour and brightness, texture, fat quality - are all taken into consideration and marble score reaches 12, equivalent to more than 50% IMF.

data that the trait is measured with. Currently, the top 30% of our genetics sit above Aus-Meat marble score 9 and we need to identify these accurately to achieve our best genetic progress.

The relationship between Aus-Meat, USDA and JMGA (BMS) grades and IMF% is shown in Figure 1. Each grading system has its own purpose and range.

THE MECHANISATIONS OF THE MIJ-30

With objective grading using the MIJ-30, the level of intramuscular fat can be given as a percentage along with the score from the required grading system. For the Australian Wagyu industry, using accurate marble score data across the full range of IMF% that Wagyu can achieve, is invaluable for accelerating Wagyu genetic gain in marbling. Any EBV is dependent on the quality and accuracy of the performance

The Meat Image Japan (MIJ-30) camera has been evolving for more than 20 years to bring digital imaging technology for Wagyu. The grading starts with a scan of the carcase identification via a barcode scanner, followed by a digital image by the MIJ-30 of the eye muscle to calculate the range of traits important to Wagyu carcase quality. Comparisons between chemical analysis of fat content and the MIJ-30 indicate that the accuracy is up to 90%. Rib-eye area calculations are also highly accurate, as the technology uses automatic >>> page 37


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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

35


50K Analysis XYTOVET is an Australian owned and operated genotyping lab servicing the Australian Wagyu Association. Guaranteed 4 week turnaround for 50K analysis. Select XYTO when submitting your samples.

Jason Ledger 0417 938 067

36

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


AUS-MEAT & MSA The Australian meat grading system operates to MS 9+, for up to 21% IMF, using reference charts for comparison. Source: www.ausmeat.com.au

BEEF MARBLING STANDARD B.M.S The Japan Meat Grading Association calculates meat grades up to MS 12 for around 50% IMF.

BEEF COLOUR STANDARD B.C.S

No.1

No.2

No.3

No.4

No.5

No.6

BEEF FAT STANDARD B.F.S

No.7

No.1

No.2 No.3 No.4 No.5 No.6 No.7

<<< from page 34 edge detection and can compensate for variations in cut angles and carcase rotations. The MIJ-30 uses a digital CCD optical system with a resolution of 12Mb. Using a cloudbased analysis system that provides real-time grading, the camera takes a digital image that is uploaded via WiFi or Bluetooth with results given within 20 seconds. In the event that WiFi is not available, or upload speeds are slow from the processing site, images can be stored on USB for analysis back in the office. Each camera has a unique identifier, providing the customer with secure data and transfer. Images taken by the MIJ-30 is tagged with the identifier, giving the processor full ownership of the images and results. The unit is fully enclosed and manufactured from stainless steel for hygienic operation and is easily cleaned. The key features of the MIJ-30 are: »» 2.9kg, 12Mb camera resolution, 64Gb USB data storage, Bluetooth, WiFi connectivity, Barcode reader »» Stainless steel construction, 2 x 4.2ah

Images taken by the MIJ-30 is tagged with the identifier, giving the processor full ownership of the images and results as show in DIAGRAM 1

rechargeable batteries and one charger »» Carcase assessment completed in 20 seconds for each carcase »» Batch files downloadable for further storage with batch reports available from MIJ in a standard format. The Australian Wagyu Association has an

exclusive partnership with Meat Image Japan to develop, distribute and support MIJ camera technology within Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to support its members.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE AWA office@wagyu.org.au

02 6773 3138

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

37


38

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


SIRE PROGENY TEST SHOWS EARLY POSITIVES WITH NET FEED INTAKE PROGRAM In an era of increasingly high cost of grain, the benefits of efficient feeders in the feedlot is becoming significant. For Wagyu, the efficiency of depositing high-quality marbling provides an added dimension to the final profitability equation.

A quick glance over the fence won’t tell you which animal has the most economic feed intake and the most carcase potential. Analysis of the amount of feed eaten and the resultant carcase traits will give a far more accurate assessment, but it takes time and data. Net feed intake (NFI) highlights which animals eat more or less, to gain the same amount of weight over their tenure in the feedlot. An animal with a negative value eats less, while a positive number means it eats more than the average. Therefore, the aim is to have a negative value in order to maximise profitability for the producer and the feedlotter. Research literature to date suggests that there is up to 10-15% variation in NFI between sires and is moderately heritable. A research project undertaken by the Australian Wagyu Association in conjunction with Kerwee Feedlot – the Sire Progeny Net Feed Intake program– is underway to assess the variability and heritability of NFI for Wagyu cattle. Initial results indicate that there is merit in using high ranking Sires to produce progeny that have better than average net feed intakes. In the first carcase assessment of steers in the Sire Progeny NFI program, progeny by Sires in the top 10% of EBVs, performed better than those with lower predictions.

The difference in financial terms between the top and lowest performer was to the tune of $1800 taking into account feeding costs and final carcase value.

HOW IS THE SIRE PROGENY NFI PROGRAM UNDERTAKEN? The key to maximising the accuracy of results is to control as many variables as possible to eliminate variations between animals in the feedlot. To that end, the program requires a minimum five steers or heifers (not a mix) per Sire, with known parentage and Wagyu content, born around the same time and entry weight into the feedlot system of between 300-380kg. Once at Kerwee Feedlot, the animals are given a one month settling in period before transitioning into the grain-fed feedlot system. Two pens have been set aside for the program, for a total capacity of 180 Wagyu cattle where they are fed for up to 450 days. The use of GrowSafe feed bins enables food consumption to be monitored on a daily basis. At the completion of the 450 days, the animals are weighed and feed consumption finalised. The carcase is then assessed using Aus-Meat grading as well as data from the MIJ-30 assessment camera that is designed specifically for Wagyu.

A cohort of Wagyu steers in the Sire Progeny Net Feed Intake at Kerwee Feedlot. Steve Martin, general manager, Kerwee Feedlot oversees the program.

“In order for the results to be as accurate as possible, we set pretty strict criteria for the Sire Progeny NFI program,” said Steve Martin, general manager, Kerwee Feedlot. “It’s not a perfect situation, as there will always be outside environmental influences such as weather, stress or illness. The results we have are still early days but are worth analysing.”

OUTCOMES OF THE FIRST TRIAL OF SIRE PROGENY NFI The first trial for the program utilised progeny from Strathdale and Longford Sires whose parentage, EBVs and Wagyu content were known, to form two cohorts. To make the full 180 capacity, Kerwee supplied the balance. “We suspected that some steers would eat more than others, particularly in the early growing phases, but over the 450 days it averages out to be about 12.5kg of feed per day,” said Steve. “On that basis I can calculate how much feed it will take – about 5tonne in total per animal – and assess >>> page 40 THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

39


SIRES PROGENY GROSS MARGIN

Based on the cost of production for Wagyu cattle in the first Sire Progeny Net Feed Intake trial, variability in the breed can result in significant losses per head (red), or in the case of top 10% genetic Sires, substantial profits (green).

<<< from page 39 who the big eaters are compared to the others from the GrowSafe data.”

weaning and backgrounding, to hot spells that put long-fed cattle under stress.

good money in the supply chain on poor

The results confirmed that there can be as much as 10-15% variability in feed consumption in a group. When feed costs represent more than 50% of production costs in today’s grain market, the efficient feeders make economic sense.

Accuracy of the data is pivotal for progress in establishing NFI Indices and BREEDPLAN data. With five animals per Sire, the results can be as high as 60% accurate; 20 animals would give as much as 83%.

“To improve the accuracy of the data takes

“Based on the grading, we had some cattle costing us $700 per head, where others gave a profit of around $1,100.”

“Since the initial intake, the program has not seen a lot of interest from breeders – most of the data I have gathered is from purchasing my own cohorts. The November intake is made up primarily of cattle from Irongate, which will be exciting to study.

It is important to note that these initial results do not show a correlation between net feed intake and marbling which indicates that it is possible to achieve animals with high net feed intake indices and high marble scores. Those that did perform well when crossreferenced with the Sires, show that the heritable traits do become evident, with progeny from Michifuku, LFDFD12558 and LFDFC11712 outstripping the performance of others in the trial.

INTAKES MOVING FORWARD Steve readily admits that the data is not perfect, with so many variables out of his control – including the nutrition during 40

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

“Intakes work on a four-month cycle – so the October intake will go into the pens in December. The following intake will accept animals in February for a March start in the feedlot. “There is a lot of potential for the Wagyu industry to establish accurate data on net feed intake which will make it possible to develop an EBVs. For the breeder, establishing bloodlines that perform well in the feedlot is good for the breed overall and for the feedlot it means we can buy steers or heifers that we know are likely to give good carcase traits. There is no point tearing up

performers. time and can potentially take three to five years, which can only be done with the cooperation of the breeders. We need more producers to supply animals into the program and they need to plan ahead. “Ideally the perfect scenario is 10 different bulls onto 1,000 cows generating 50 steers that are born, fed and slaughtered together for comparison. This way we can minimise the effects of the cow, environmental factors and variations in slaughter. We have a long way to go, but the end results for the Wagyu breed will be worth it.” “There is no doubt that NFI is very important to the Wagyu Industry. These animals love feed and they spend more time on it than any other part of the Australian beef industry. Understanding Net Feed Intake through a program like this is vital to our ability to optimise profitability. Animals with high NFI and carcase EBVs will be highly valuable within our supply chain in the future,” commented AWA CEO, Dr Matt McDonagh.


WAGYU TRENDS IN LIVE ANIMAL MARKETS Peaks and troughs are characteristic of agribusiness and environmental conditions only exacerbate the highs and lows.

Throughput, clearance rates and sale prices provide an insight into what is happening within the beef industry. Wagyu represents a small portion of overall cattle movement in Australia, but results reveal that many of the greater industry trends are reflected in Wagyu and amplified in F1 markets. In the past year FY2018, the Association has held the Elite Wagyu Sale and six Premium Sales for seedstock and limited lines of commercial cattle with positive results. The AWA sales platforms are now moving to seedstock only.

Despite the recent strength of the Elite and Premium Wagyu sales, Fullblood seedstock sales have trended backwards over the last 12 months. For feeder cattle, Wagyu F1 cattle movements have shown an upward trend in numbers while achieving a downward trend in price per kilogram liveweight, while animal liveweight fluctuates around a steady average. With feeding accounting for 40-50% of total production costs, reductions in F1 price is in-line with the cost of feeding cattle rising by around 50% in the last 18 months.

ELITE AND PREMIUM WAGYU SALES The fifth Annual Elite Wagyu Sale, the highlight of the Annual Conference each year, represents the top 10% of Wagyu genetics and did not disappoint with new records for bulls and semen straws. The highlight of the Elite Wagyu Sale, Lot 53 attracted a remarkable winning bid of $185,000. A Poll Wagyu bull, Lot 53 was sired by famed Mayura Itoshigenami Jnr that carries a polled gene M0775 (Midnight) as a two-year-old genetically polled heterozygous bull, that >>> page 42

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THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

41


<<< from page 41 is qualified for export. His sire is averaging MS 9 at Mayura Station and in the top 1 percent for eye muscle area. A remarkable pedigree from two exceptional Australian Wagyu breeders at Mayura and Robbins Island. The buyer, based in South Africa intends to collect semen for export to develop his own breeding herd. Other highlights of the Elite Wagyu Sale were semen straws, reaching an astonishing height of $8,000 per straw from a Macquarie Wagyu bull who is ranked in the top three of all bulls. The top female – PTIC – was $80,000 while an embryo lot offered by Hamblin’s and Robbins Island Wagyu topped $26,000. According to Auctioneer, Harvey WeymanJones ‘the moral of the story from this year’s Elite Wagyu Sale is that the best sells well and to be a part of the 2019 Sale, be prepared for the bar to raise on quality, particularly for marble score’. The most recent Premium Wagyu Sale, held in July 2018 represented the top 50% of Wagyu EBVs with good results for females, with the top price fetching $15,600 for a cow whose pedigree traces back to Kitaitonami. The much-anticipated rare semen straws from Itozurdoi (TF151) reached the stellar heights of $3,000 per straw. Premium Wagyu Sales from the September sale onwards will shift the bar higher, to only include animals whose EBVs are in the top 20% to ensure that there is an opportunity to showcase the very best genetics that the Wagyu industry has to offer.

WAGYU F1 FEEDER MOVEMENT With data supplied by AuctionsPlus for the financial year ending 2018, we can pull out some information for general Wagyu sales trends, predominantly for F1 feeder cattle. It is important to note that the vast majority of commercial Wagyu animals are not traded on AuctionsPlus. Out of an estimated movement of over 150,000 Wagyu content cattle more than the past 18 months, less than 4,000 have traded on AuctionsPlus. This means that drawing market signals from this method of trade is not very accurate and may not reflect trends within established supply relationships. 42

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

KEY POINTS TO BE DRAWN For F1 feeders between January 2017 and July 2018: »» 6,816 cattle were put up for sale (167 lots) »» 3,815 (56%) were sold »» Wagyu/Angus were the predominant F1 – at 88% »» Average across all sexes was 420c/kg liveweight »» Typical price range for yearlings and weaners was between $1,200 - $1,900 for 220-350kg live weight »» For F1s other than Angus (Hereford, Brangus, Droughtmaster, Friesian, Santa Gertrudis and Shorthorn), 47% were sold, the highest bid was $1,760 for a Wagyu/ Shorthorn yearling at 304kg liveweight. »» Average F1 Wagyu liveweights fluctuate around 300kg - most of which are yearlings, weaners, heifers and steers at less than 18 months old. Focusing on Wagyu Angus F1 feeders, the trend for $/ kg follows a downward trend for the past financial year, starting with an average high of around 5$/kg to just under 3$/kg. The trend of $/kg for MLA reported figures for Eastern States Feeder cattle also shows a downward trend from $3.30/kg to $2.70/ kg over the past financial year, although the magnitude of change is higher in F1 Wagyu. The number of cattle sold through AuctionsPlus has remained constant across the 2018 financial year, although the majority of cattle passed in has been within the six months since January 2018.

Although increased drought supply may be contributing to F1 Wagyu feeder price, the biggest influence on current price trends for Wagyu F1 feeders is the cost of grain. Typical Wagyu F1 feeding programs exceed 350 days. Darling Downs wheat price has increased from lows around $270 per tonne in early 2017 to over $450 per tonne mid 2018.

IMPORTED WAGYU TO AUSTRALIA Now that the approval to import Japanese Wagyu into Australia has been given, industry experts Miho Kondo, Market Insights Manager for Japan and Korea and Andrew Cox, MLA’s Business Manager based in Japan, don’t see the importation as major competition for local producers. The first arrival of Japanese Wagyu – A5 – brought in by Clover Valley Meat Co, totalled little more than a tonne – destined for high end butchers and hospitality and retailing at $500/kg. On those volumes and price tags it is likely to remain a novelty.

F1 WAGYU FORECAST Animals arriving in the feedlot system in the past year were bred at least two years prior to entry. With much of Australia’s Wagyu industry based in New South Wales and Queensland and the continuing pressures of drought for grass-fed backgrounding and grain prices for feedlots, it is unlikely that F1 prices will return to pre-drought levels in the short term. According to a spokesperson from the feedlot sector, the cost of feeding grain-fed cattle has risen by around


The Ruralco group of livestock agencies throughout Australia are pleased to be working closely with the AWA and Wagyu Breeders in providing a sales service for all types of Wagyu, Wagyu cross and Wagyu genetics. Ruralco are sole agents for the Premium Wagyu Sales on AuctionsPlus regularly throughout the year and for the Elite Wagyu Sale, Adelaide, SA in May 2019.

RECENT SALES Elite Wagyu Sale, Mackay

May 2018

Premium Wagyu Sale

July 2018

Bull - Polled Wagyu Midnight Bull - Door Key M0209 PTIC Heifer - Mayura L0082 Yearling Heifer - Arubial N0081 Semen - Coates Itoshigenami G113 Embryos - Moyhu F D507 x Island Wagyu J1404

$185,000 $100,000 $80,000 $55,000 $8,000 $3,250

Bulls - Irongate Cows - Westholme Heifers - Trent Bridge Semen - Itozurudoi TF151 Semen - Poll Midnight Embryos - Poll Midnight x Sumo Cows

to to to to to to

$10,000 $15,600 $15,000 $3,000 $1,700 $2,200

UPCOMING SALE DATES Sale Premium Sale Premium Sale Premium Sale Elite Sale, Adelaide, SA Premium Sale Premium Sale Premium Sale

Date September 2018 November 2018 March 2019 May 2019 July 2019 September 2019 November 2019

Sale Information Top 20% (Bulls) Top 30% (Females) Top 30% Top 5% Top 20% Top 20% (Bulls) Top 30% (Females)

Harvey Weyman-Jones, GDL Stud Stock Manager, Dalby, Qld is the National Wagyu Coordinator or Ruralco Agencies throughout Australia. Please call Harvey to discuss your needs. Harvey Weyman-Jones 0414 941 788 hweymanjones@gdlrural.com.au

www.gdlrural.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

43


44

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


$/kg LIVE WEIGHT

SALE PRICE $/kg LIVE WEIGHT A+ WAGYU F1 (BLUE) VS MLA EASTERN STATES FEEDER PRICE (RED)

$6,000

$5,000

$4,000

$3,000

$2,000

$1,000

DATE

$0 14/06/2017

3/08/2017

22/09/2017

11/11/2017

31/12/2017

19/02/2018

10/04/2018

30/05/2018

19/07/2018

F1 WAGYU NUMBERS/LOT SOLD THROUGH FY2018

120

100

80

60

40

NUMBER OF HEAD PER LOT

20

DATE

JULY 2017

JUNE 2018

<<< from page 42 50% in the past 18 months which has two

marble score outcome of 5.5 or better across

outcomes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; either the price of the cattle needs

a pen of cattle.

to fall or meat prices increase. The current

For Australian Wagyu Association members,

estimate by the spokesperson was that the

increasing capability in developing quality

breakeven point for F1 Wagyu in particular,

seedstock for production of feeder cattle is

was a marble score of 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; reducing time on

a key focus through improved EBVs and

feed will not accomplish that outcome.

genomic tools to assist accelerating our

For F1 feeder production, breed-average

genetic progress in Wagyu as outlined in

marbling or better Angus females with breed

the April 2018 issue of Wagyu Update.

average marbling or better Wagyu bulls is the

Improving the genetic potential of the

standard formula for delivering an average

animal is a key part of the equation such that

producers undertaking joining decisions for F1 production need to understand what the supply chain is seeking. While populations in feedlots may continue to progress as predicted, the cost of feed will continue to influence which animals are accepted. Those with known EBVs that can deliver higher carcase results are more likely to achieve a profitable outcome for the supply chain. As a consequence, genetic improvement for traits such as marble score will provide a positive outcome for the industry. THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

45


BE PART OF A BRAND NOT A PRICE TAKER That was one of the key messages delivered by Don Mackay, Chair of Red Meat Advisory Committee and keynote speaker at WagyuEdge 2018.

Don, who has had many years’ experience in the beef industry and in particular, Wagyu shared his thoughts on the potential for the Wagyu supply chain. The Wagyu industry continues to see steady growth compared to the overall herd levels for all livestock which has been relatively stable. The impact according to Don, is more evident in the feedlot sector, where increased numbers of cattle are grainfed – a significant portion attributable to Wagyu. Demand for quality Wagyu therefore is not an issue in the local and international markets. Meeting consumer expectations for the highest level of eating experience in terms of marbling, taste and texture that are associated with Wagyu will be the greater challenge. The challenge, then is to create a brand supply chain that consumers recognise. Whether you are a producer, backgrounder or feedlotter, each participant needs to uphold the integrity of that brand.

SO WHAT IS BRAND INTEGRITY? If your Wagyu promises to consistently score MS 9-9+, provides a wonderful eating experience and represents a little bit of luxury, then your product needs to reflect those values. A break in those values represents a loss in brand integrity. The flip side, if you are able to maintain those brand values, you are better able to set the price bracket, rather than taking the price the supply chain, offers. “Brand integrity is declaring what you are and then making a commitment to deliver on that declaration,” says Don. “It doesn’t matter whether it is grinding beef for fast food burgers or high premium for top end restaurants, you describe what the product is and the probity around that and deliver on it.”

through programs such as Aus-Meat and MSA along with programs such as True Aussie (for export markets), Certified Grassfed and Livestock Welfare. Some of Australia’s leading Wagyu producers, many of whom have integrated supply chains have developed a brand and promise to differentiate themselves to their competitors. It is important to note, that not every Wagyu producer will have the capability to have a retail recognised brand, and for some it is not advisable to do so. “Developing a brand requires a long-term commitment and funding to establish brand recognition and to maintain it through the inevitable cycles of livestock production,” says Don. “For the majority of producers’ greater value can come from being a part of the supply chain of a recognised brand.” The key is to understand what the supply chain requires and what you can provide. If you consistently produce Wagyu with a marble score around 4-5, then there are two choices: work with the supply chain to improve your production techniques or find a market that will take the cattle you currently produce. “In the Wagyu industry, some see the high prices and simply breed animals and struggle to find a market for them. For those that work with brand owners, a specification can be established and the producer can work to deliver it, with a known buy price instead of ringing around on a Sunday night trying to find a buyer.”

A good example of brand integrity, consistency and promise is actually McDonald’s, says Don. The company has made a promise that wherever you are in the world, you can expect your burger to be exactly the same. Failure to deliver on that promise can be detrimental not only to the brand but also to the business.

Aiming for the premium end of the Wagyu market may not be possible for some producers, such as those in the Queensland Gulf country where it may be difficult to achieve the weight gain for feedlots. If your property is better suited to backgrounding, then it is more prudent to work with the breeder and the feedlot to understand the requirements in your supply chain to achieve the best outcomes.

The red meat industry as a whole underpins product integrity

“Talk to the supply chain in your area and establish a long-term

46

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


... the key message is to go and talk to your customer – whether it is the feedlot or brand owner – and develop a longterm relationship. relationship. The perception that the

grandad did it’ mentality that may

supply chain will only pay a cheap

not show improvements.

rate is not strictly correct. Most will

“If the Wagyu industry continues to

pay a better price if the consistency

improve their capabilities, we will

and volume is there as they know

see those lower grade cattle slowly

they can get a better price further

disappear from the herd, so that the

along the supply chain.”

premium customer expectations are

With better access to data on breed

consistently met. There will always

genetics, weaning and nutrition,

be some that are poor performers,

breeders, backgrounders and

but most in the supply chain accept

feedlots are able to improve the

that and develop a pricing model

overall outcomes for the Wagyu

that takes into account the ones

industry and no longer need to

that will cost them money. Those

continue with a ‘that’s how dad and

animals are also the ones that won’t

be branded as Wagyu and end up in mixed beef cartons. “For those starting out in the Wagyu industry, the key message is to go and talk to your customer – whether it is the feedlot or brand owner – and develop a long-term relationship. Find out from the beginning what the expectations are and adjust your techniques early in the piece. It is important to understand the whole supply chain and where you fit in, in order to get the best possible outcomes for the industry and for you as a producer.”

MATT & ALICE EDWARDS Mobile: - 0428 698 866 Phone: - 07 4691 2508 ‘Silverbrook’ PO Box 36 Oakey, QLD 4401 E.mail edwardslivestock@bigpond.com Website : www.edwardslivestock.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

47


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NEW 2018 BULLS Ginjo Kitahatsuhi L9 (GINFL00009). Combines the distinct Tottori/Kedaka growth lines of Hirashigetayasu (001) and rare Kitahatsuhi 97/1. Two infusions of 100% Tajima in Kitateruyasudoi (003), plus TF151 Itozurudoi . Massive growth with proven marbling, offering options (with Ginjo K930) for joining decisions that capture rare diversity and exceptional performance.

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Ginjo Hatshira K930 (GINFK0930) 2016/2017 Best seller. Packages the recorded genetic potency and rarity of Kitahatsuhi 97/1 with the proven all-round capabilities of Ginjo MarbleMax B901 and TF147 Itoshigefuji. Trait leader for early growth. Outstanding FB marbling in the pedigree.

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ESTABLISHED SIRES Ginjo MarbleMax ™ Hiranami B901 (GINFB0901) Proven all-round carcass performance, breeder production & F1 sire. Over 550 registered FB calves in 14 AWA recorded herds. Semen stocks limited.

For further details on the sires, visit the Australian Wagyu Forum website: www.australianwagyuforum.com.au Prices: Domestic Semen Prices: $AUD45 - $AUD65 per Unit. International Pricing & Availability: POA

MIKE BUCHANAN | GINJO WAGYU: - 125 Pindimar Road Tea Gardens NSW Australia 2324 Postal: PO Box 71 Tea Gardens NSW Australia 2324 • m: +61 437 047 234 • t: +61 2 4997 0482 • e: mjbuch@bigpond.com Founding Member: Australian Wagyu Forum www.australianwagyuforum.com.au

48

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


DEMAND FOR F1 WAGYU IN FAMILY RESTAURANTS CONTINUES There is no denying that a quick bite to eat – burger, steak or a parma – is a winner with most families.

Rashays utilise F1 scotch fillet as a premium steak for their Limited Time Offer as it gives customers the experience of marbling and exceptional eating quality.

Quick, cost effective and satisfying, quick service restaurants (QSRs) are a popular eating out option. The most well-known ones – Nando’s, The Coffee Club, Mad Mex - are franchised right across the country.

are driving up the expectations of the industry, such that menus and brands are ‘premiumised’ through strategies such as the removal of additives, use of natural ingredients and outlet presentation.

“We have had two Wagyu burgers on

To put things in perspective, the foodservice industry uses around 28% of domestic beef and veal. With around 87,000 outlets (restaurants, pubs, cafes, fast food), a large portion of which are QSRs (42%), beef is the third most popular protein consumed after chicken and seafood and represents around 35% of a $43bn industry.

To give a point of difference and still be cost-effective, Grill’d and Rashays, have put F1 Wagyu on the menu.

enable us to introduce a third onto the menu

THE GRILL’D STORY

take our dining experience to the next

The MLA market snapshot for domestic beef consumption suggests that a key trend for the rise in popularity of QSRs is based on 48% of households eating out at least once per week. Children in the household will often influence the choice of venue and meal – convenience and value – are common denominators. A Roy Morgan research study conducted in 2017 indicated that 11.8 million Australians dined in a QSR in a four-week period, with groups such as Grill’d and other more specialised QSRs topping the customer satisfaction list, above the likes of Pizza Hut and McDonald’s. The MLA snapshot also suggests that the rise of QSRs means that consumers

The Grill’d Group of restaurants specialises in burgers. Opening in 2004, the premise of the business is to provide healthy burgers where the ingredients are locally sourced, high quality and prepared fresh daily. The range of proteins used for Grill’d burgers includes beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Vegetarian burgers are also a mainstay.

the menu for nearly 15 months and the customer feedback has been great, with our take on the classic cheeseburger, the most popular. The success of F1 Wagyu will later in the year,” said the Grill’d team. “The use of Wagyu has allowed us to level. Given that we don’t use trim, the intramuscular fat content present in Wagyu gives the best eating experience.” Per year, Grill’d uses in excess of 120,000kgs across more than 130 locations nationally. The F1 Wagyu patties are made on site from fresh, not frozen, supplies and sourced to ensure that the

Of the beef burgers, two are based on F1 Wagyu and are a part of Grill’d’s Speciality burger range that also includes RSPCA Approved pork belly.

correct marble score and cut ratios for

To date, Grill’d has sourced high quality cuts (such as chuck and brisket) from grass-fed cattle free from antibiotics and all added hormones. The shift to F1 Wagyu represented an opportunity for customers to experience a more premium product that is paired with ingredients that enhance the flavour profile of Wagyu such as truffle mayo.

and Grill’d Specialty burger range.

fat content meet specification to keep the flavour profile and texture at the desired quality level that is characteristic of Wagyu

STEAK OUT AT RASHAYS The Rashays chain of restaurants extends across 22 locations in NSW and ACT and attracts in the order of 2.8 million customers per year. Plans are in place to open more outlets in Queensland and Melbourne in the coming year. >>> page 50 THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

49


<<< from page 49

We wanted to introduce a higher quality steak and felt that a F1 Wagyu scotch fillet with its marbling would be ideal The range of menu items at Rashays covers steaks, ribs and chicken and aims to provide value comfort food for the family. In a first time offering, Rashays are using F1 Wagyu scotch fillet as part of their Limited Time Only (LTO) menu. Available for eight weeks, the F1 Wagyu is aimed at customers who want a better quality steak that melts in the mouth and is flavoursome. During the LTO period, Rashays expects to sell 20,000 F1 Wagyu steaks (6 tonne). “We wanted to introduce a higher quality steak and felt that a F1 Wagyu scotch fillet with its marbling would be ideal,” said Sam Krayem, senior purchasing manager and menu development, Rashays.

Top left: The intramuscular fat content of F1 Wagyu gives Grill’d the correct flavour profile without the use of trim.

“In the few weeks that it has been available the feedback has been exceptional; the customers have really noticed the difference in eating quality.”

Bottom: The team at Grill’d are dedicated to bringing to the quick service restaurant industry nutritious burgers free from additives.

Sam has opted to use a highly regarded and awarded beef brand. The quality of marbling and fineness is consistent, enabling Rashays to provide customers with a product that meets expectations across all its outlets.

Top right: Sam Krayem, senior purchasing manager and menu development, Rashays, looks for highly regarded Wagyu brands for consistency and volume across all Rashay outlets.

In preparing for Wagyu in the LTO, the Rashays chefs participate in information and tasting sessions in order to understand how to handle, cook and present F1 Wagyu. Such is the quality, reputation and eating experience of F1 Wagyu, that it is a natural fit for the quick service restaurant industry, and with such high demand and forecasts for increasing growth, the use of F1 Wagyu in burgers and steaks is likely to stay.

50

THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE


THE AUSTRALIAN WAGYU UPDATE

51


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BROAD WATER DOWNS PTY LTD

+61 400 337 472 (Anthony) office@macquariewagyu.com www.macquariewagyu.com

Australian Wagyu Update - issue 69  

Wagyu industry challenges and resilience, all for a good cause, building integrity in Wagyu, Be bold, Be branded, Be Wagyu.

Australian Wagyu Update - issue 69  

Wagyu industry challenges and resilience, all for a good cause, building integrity in Wagyu, Be bold, Be branded, Be Wagyu.

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