Devon News

Outlaw Stud Report (from 2009 AGM)
Posted: 14 September 2009
Size: 21 Kb
We have sold all of our 2nd & 3rd cross devon cows and calves for $1400 each, have 2 constant buyers for all our female calves at weaning deregistered. Sold a pen of 4 steers at 13 mths made $827.00 each. We now only have pure bred stock on our place. Our bulls are now being sold as yearling bulls and Karen holds 1-2 for her progeny line for the shows, as people are pulling up and looking at these young animals from the highway from weaning at 7 mths and note that we don’t feed grain to these young bulls. When they purchase a bull the feedback we are getting that our grass genetics that our bulls are growing and gaining weight while they are working. Word and mouth now is the best advertisement we have ever had.
Click here to read.

President's Report (from 2009 AGM)
Posted: 19 March 2009
Size: 21 Kb
Read President Bob Crawford's Report from the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society of Australia Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Click here to read.

Devon Inspection School
Posted: 19 March 2009
Size: 167 Kb
Assessments conducted by Bob Dent, DPI beef officer based at Glen Innes. Bob spoke about and provided visual evidence of the varying structural assessment categories. Click here to read.

Lakota Ranch Bull Sale
Posted: 28 November 2008
Size: 2.0Mb
Lakota Ranch, owned and operated by Devon breeders Jerry and Jeremy Engh in Virginia, USA have a bull sale organised at their ranch on December 6, 2008. The sale involves Devon, Texon, Angus, Hereford, Braunvieh, Tarantaise, Piedmontese bulls. The bulls were rigorously tested and those that did not meet the criteria were rejected. All the bulls have been performance tested through Genestar testing for quality grade, tenderness and feed efficiency. They have also been fertility tested, ultra sounded and DNA tested. For more information and a copy of the catalogue click here.

SmartGene Results August 2008
Posted: 25 November 2008
Size: 2.5Mb
Click here to read.

World Conference News
Posted: 18 November 2008
Click here to read about the 2008 World Conference Update.

World Conference Wrap Up
Posted: 12 November 2008
Click here to read about the 2008 World Conference Down Under.

Coastal Branch
Posted: 12 November 2008
The Coastal Branch of the Devon Cattle Breeders' Society held a raffle recently to raise funds for the promotion of youth activities and for the World Devon Conference held in September.  The raffle was reasonably successful due to the efforts of Richard O’Leary and his band of Kempsey friends who are willing to sell tickets on behalf of our Society.  The raffle was drawn at the World Conference Dinner at Port Macquarie by the Australian youth representative on the World Conference Tour, Tiffany Staples.  Tiffany was partially sponsored on the Tour by the Coastal Group of the Devon Society.

The winner of the John Deere lawn mower and trailer was Devon breeder George Want from Grafton.  Second prize of a chain saw was won by Eddie Yabsley, Kempsey and third prize,a line trimmer, was won by Bill Fuggles, Kempsey.  As about 80% of tickets were sold at Kempsey, this was a good result.  Congratulations to the winners.

The Devon Feature Show for 2009 will be held at Kempsey on 28th & 29th April.  Kempsey showground has been significantly renovated as featured in The Land newspaper last month.  The Macleay Regional Cooperative has agreed to sponsor both the 2009 and 2010 Kempsey Shows in all sections, hence will sponsor several of the Devon prizes.  Members exhibiting will also be competing for several trophies.

Federal Body
Posted: 12 November 2008
The Society is researching the development of a DNA profile for Australian Devon cattle in an effort to establish an export trade of cattle, semen and embryos.  The World Devon Conference and Tour highlighted the importance of establishing a DNA profile and sharing Devon genetics around the world.

Following on from the World Conference, the establishment of an International Devon Youth Committee is being investigated by the Devon Cattle Breeders' Society of Australia.  Anyone wishing more information should contact Bulldust Editor, Sally Edwards.

A voyage of Devon discovery
Posted: 12 September 2008
A voyage of Devon discovery across the globe will head to Australia next month with one thing on their mind – Devon cattle.
The Devon Cattle Breeders Society of Australia (DCBSA) will host the world Devon conference, from September 9 to 24, for the first time in 20 years.
DCBSA president, Bob Crawford, Moulamein, said Australian Devon breeders would host more than 50 international visitors from the United Kingdom, the US, New Zealand and Brazil who would join many participants from across Australia. Among the activities will be stud tours of 23 herds, which will open their doors for as many as 100 visitors who have come to see Australian Devon cattle.

The world conference tour will begin in the picturesque Hunter Valley, before heading inland to Coonabarabran and Gunnedah and then north to Armidale. Among the stay-overs will be the University of New England (UNE), where participants will be able to unwind among the university gardens. From Armidale, the tour will head to Kempsey and Port Macquarie, then slide past Sydney and stop at the Southern Tablelands for a visit to Goulburn. Mr Crawford said it was breeds like Devon, along with Shorthorns and other British breeds, which set up the building blocks of Australia’s beef industry. In the era of the tuberculosis eradication program of the 1960s, he said huge numbers were, unfortunately, killed and in their place came Bos indicus cattle. However, many of these northern herds are re-discovering the benefits of the Devon female for its combination of hardiness, adaptability, fertility and meat quality, and are re-introducing Devon bloodlines to their programs as a crossbreeding option.

“There is an upsurge of interest in Devons to correct the lower reproductive rate of Bos indicus breeds,” Mr Crawford said. In recent years, a number of Devon breeders have also noticed the ability for some of their cattle to yield at high rates for a British breed. As a result, some of these breeders have set themselves a target carcase yield of 65 per cent, as the genetic variation has already proven this goal can be reached, Mr Crawford said. This would add to an already excellent package which the breed represents for both pure and crossbreeding operations by increasing the amount of meat produced per unit area with next to no extra inputs. When it came to crossbreeding, Mr Crawford said the Devon infusion “squared them up”, meaning the breed improved carcase shape and thickness. The breed was also known for its temperament. Mr Crawford said the introduction of Devon genetics could reduce stress in almost any herd, improving meat quality and ease of handling. Just because they were quiet and easy to handle didn’t mean they would sit near the gate all day waiting for a feed, he said. “Devons have been bred to survive in any conditions so they can take advantage of good conditions and finish easily.” He said the breed had good foraging ability and could be finished on grass, but was also suitable for grain finishing, depending on the style of animal. “Devons are fairly even in phenotype, yet come from a wide genetic base,” he said. With the breed long established in many countries, it had developed a wide genetic base in Australia and overseas – important for meeting changing markets and climate, he said.

Andrew Norris is Livestock Editor THE LAND North Richmond ph: (02) 4570 4448 mob: 0429 367 983

From scanning to soil biota on program
Posted: 12 September 2008

PART of the world Devon conference will be a tour to 23 studs across the eastern half of NSW and a number of beef industry lectures. Devon society president, Bob Crawford (pictured), Moulamein, said one of the first lectures would be at the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, and would include a session with the Beef Co-operative Research Centre, UNE. Speakers will present “Dehorning the Australian Beef Herd” and the Agricultural Business Research Institute will explain recent developments in estimated breeding values (EBVs). Besides EBVs, the tour will take in developments from GeneStar and see a practical demonstration of scanning results being used to select animals with the highest yield and therefore gross margins with the use of the Falkirk Index.

Later in the tour, at the Port Macquarie stop, Dr Ric White from the livestock management company, Animal Genetics, will explain the benefits of early weaning and preparing weaners for later finishing and reproduction. This will be followed by IGA with a session on how supermarkets view meat selling in relation to the new global marketing parameters as Brazil takes control of the world’s meat trade via its interest in meat processing. Agronomist, Leon Martin, will discuss cultivating soil biota to assist pasture production and Meat and Livestock Australia will look at beef industry research and development programs.

Andrew Norris is Livestock Editor THE LAND North Richmond ph: (02) 4570 4448 mob: 0429 367 983

Australian genetics go to Rio, on grass
Posted: 2 September 2008

WHILE many beef breeds in Australia have been searching the world for the next top genetics, Australian Devon breeders have been busy improving Australian bloodlines. This work is now paying dividends in the form of genetic exports and renewed local interest in the breed. And it is the Devon’s ability to thrive on grass which has caught the world’s attention in times of high grain prices and increased food safety concerns.

This market has potential to grow with the South American beef powerhouse, Brazil, a grass-based system, looking for British breed genetics with heat tolerance and top meat quality to cross with the local Nelore breed. Meat and Livestock Australia market analyst, Gregoria Vial, said there was evidence of Brazilian Bos indicus herds increasing their use of British and European breeds to improve meat quality. While the majority of pure British breed herds were in Brazil’s cooler southern States, he said the trend to use British breed bulls had extended throughout the southern areas and into the central States. The crossbreeding was aimed at improving meat quality but it was important the cattle in these areas had no less than 50 per cent Bos indicus to survive the extreme heat and humidity, he said. This was where the Devon Cattle Breeders Society of Australia president, Bob Crawford, saw an opening for the Devon breed.

Brazil’s focus on its strength to produce quality pasture-finished beef and its understanding of the Devon breed, which specialised in grass finishing, meant it was potentially a large market for Australian Devon genetics, he said. “I am quietly confident that Australian breeders of fine Devon cattle can capitalize on this new dynamic,” he said. One Devon breeder who had already dipped his toe in the export market is Graeme Barnes, Barnstaple stud, Gunnedah. He said people might see Devon cattle in Australia as being a limited breed, but it had an enormous spread of genetics which could be used to breed any type of animal to suit any market demand – a trait which was already recognised by overseas breeders. “We can just as easily produce frame seven bulls as we can smaller framed,” he said. “Because we have this diversity, we can reach into that big can and produce the type of animal the market demands and we can change very quickly if we need to. “As an example, I’ve got a frame 61/2 bull and a frame 4 bull in the US.” He said Australian Devon genetics had already been sold to the US, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands to produce local trade cattle through to heavy steers. In Brazil they were after the larger framed, later maturing type Devon bulls to produce cattle for slaughter at two years. He said with the rugged, hot conditions, the Devons were known to be fertile and didn’t break down in the coarse tropical grasses. “Red cattle inhabited our tropical country before the introduction of Bos indicus, and Devons in particular because of their heat tolerance,” he said. Vic Edwards, Vix Devons, Mullaley, had also seen some of the demand from overseas for Australian genetics, with a shipment of semen heading to New Zealand, and orders from the US and England for semen from poll Devon bulls. “All the markets that we’re selling to want cattle that do well on grass,” he said. England had demanded cattle which did well on grass because consumers were concerned about mad cow disease.

He said the real advantage for the breed was, particularly with the present high grain cost, its high feed conversion on grain or grass. Like anywhere, they were limited by rainfall for a straight grass operation, but Devon steers could be finished at any weight with 60 to 80 days on feed, as would Devon/British and Devon/Euro crosses, which made them ideal for the domestic market or European Union, Mr Edwards said.



One of the oldest breeds of the past, the universal breed of the future ... DEVON