Kerrah Simmentals

February 2017 Newsletter

2016 Roundup

It was good to see a solid year for most farmers with very good prices for beef and a pretty good spring, all be it, a bit late around most of the country.
A big THANK YOU to all who supported our first on farm auction. It surpassed all our expectations. In review, we will offer more bulls for auction in 2017. We are certainly developing the depth to our breeding program to do so without compromising standards at all. Also, paddock sales after the sale will only be done through the agents this year as I did not get to catch up with hardly any of you who supported us at the auction.

NZ Beef and Lamb Beef Sire Progeny Test

This test is under way and whilst still in the early stages, it is showing great signs for the Simmental breed with a clear dominance for the 400 day weights.
Kerrah is well represented with both bulls and sons of other well performing bulls working in the stud. This coming year will start providing the real impact information such as carcase yield, carcass weight, and characteristics like marbling, fat depth, heifer puberty and pregnancy results. So come the end of the year or start of 2018, look out for a field day near you, or look up online for the collated results.
Great progress is being made in the development of products to genomically enhance EBVs and other products further down the track. This means the cost of getting a DNA profile done of a young bull or heifer which will add between 6 – 12 progeny equivalents of accuracy to their EBVs is becoming a reality. This, in turn, reduces the amount a bull’s EBVs change once he has progeny on the ground. Angus is hoping to release this product later this year. Rest assured, Simmental will not be far behind. Hopefully by 2018 we will have these as well. We are also hopeful that we might be able have the following tests: Homo/hetero polled and red/black dilutent gene/homo/hetero.

Breeding Program

We embarked on another embryo program this spring using some of our top cows to capture the use of an AI sire Ellingson Klondike (a sire showing great promise in his production figures) and a couple of other good bulls that we only had semen of. All up, 54 embryos were implanted in mostly Hereford Friesians and our cull yearling heifers.
It was great to see a great team of mostly polled sires going out with the cows this season. There was a mix of tried and true like Rissington Aftershock, Kerrah X Factor and Big Boy as well as new boys on the block, Glenside Crumpy and Waikite Cracker (the highest growth bull in the breed) and 3 top Kerrah yearling bulls among the 20 bulls used naturally. The only two horned bulls were used lightly. They were Waikite Zac (no.1 terminal index bull) and Te Raumuku Anaconda (a 3 way growth trait leader and great hill country type bull leaving great progeny).
This year saw a record 160 yearling heifers mated at their best ever weight. Their brothers have just been culled down to 110. Rest assured, what makes it through to sale is the cream of the crop! This season, after steering obvious candidates, we still have 240 bulls! We are going to have to be harder still on selection as 210 is about our max. wintering capacity. This year also saw us achieve our highest lambing percentage and weaning weights of lambs as the cows are run commercially, grooming the pasture for the sheep – in line with our clients’ production systems.


On Wednesday, 12 April, we will be holding a Beef + Lamb NZ bull buying workshop. This is an interactive day with presenters, cattle and EBVs across all breeds to better inform farmers of EBVs and the impact of breeding decisions. We intend to hold a farm tour to participants who are interested from 10am with a BBQ lunch. Workshop will be from 1 – 5 pm. Numbers are limited to the first 40 registered.

Expo, SOO and Future Beef 2017

The girls, Lauren and Tessa, are debating whether to take a bull or two to the national Expo sale. If they do, they will have the pick of the horned bulls with the polled bulls staying home for our on farm auction. We will once again put a couple of entries in to the Steak of Origin competition and the national interbreed steer and heifer competitions run alongside the Future Beef competition.
If you have teenagers interested in attending or need a steer, just get them to Facebook us on our Facebook site. If you have any inquiries or feedback, please don’t hesitate to give me a ring or drop me an email.

Sale Date this year Tuesday 23rd May

Wishing you all the best for 2017.

Regards, Jon Knauf

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Enquires and inspection are always welcome by either contacting
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{Jon Knauf 068386793}  {Alistair Milne 063285052}