Friday, 12 June 2020 15:02

Jersey beef a popular and profitable option — Jersey Advantage

Written by  Staff Reporters
Jersey beef cows. Jersey beef cows.

Kiwi farmers are turning to Jersey beef as a profitable sideline, according to Jersey Advantage.

The not-for-profit organisation says consumers are no longer favouring white fat meat as much as they were before. It says consumers are increasingly consumers seeking out yellow fat beef as an indication of a free-range, grass-fed diet.

The yellow fat in jersey meat is the result of naturally higher levels of carotene and vitamin D.

Steven & Nina Ireland who milk 500 Jersey cows at Temuka, Canterbury have been trialing various beef breeds over their Jersey herd for 3 years. They slaughtered their first line of Jersey-Angus heifers and steers recently at 26 months and averaged $1,700 each.

“While the Jersey-cross typically has a lower carcass weight than other dairy beef crosses, this is easily compensated for by the additional return due to the superior meat quality,” says Steven.

Of the Ireland’s line of Jersey-Angus, 65% reached the elite EQ standard on the Silver Fern Farms added value system compared to the average of 31%.

Murray & Helen Jagger are also advocates of Jersey beef. The Jaggers farm 650 Jersey cows at Whangarei Heads, Northland, and run a Jersey beef operation as a sideline on a neighbouring property.

Murray and Helen artificially inseminate the bottom percentage of their herd to Angus which ensures replacements are kept from the best cows, while providing a Jersey-Angus cross calf from the remaining animals.

“We select bulls for calving ease, low birth weights, and good 600-day growth rates. We’re aiming to grow animals out at two and a half years old,” says Murray.

The Jaggers rear around 60 Jersey-Angus steers and the same number of heifers annually, and quit a third in November, another third in January, and the final group in March.

“The earliest group range from 260-290kgs carcass weight, with the final group between 300-320kg. There is a perception that Jersey-beef animals are harder to get up to finishing weight but the key is using quality beef bulls with strong EBVs.”

“We’ve found that for our grazing system the Jersey-Angus stock coming out of winter fatten more rapidly. Their growth rates hum in spring and we can winter more per hectare,” says Murray.

In the Waikato, Warren & Louise Berry milk 800 Jersey animals at Parawera. Warren and Louise have been experimenting with various beef breeds to find the best animals for different situations.

“It’s about finding the right breed for your market. A Jersey-Belgian Blue cross is an easy calving, fast finishing animal ideal for the commodity market. Whereas a Jersey-Angus cross has a longer finishing period but produces a tender, highly marbled, premium meat.”

The take-home message, says Watson, is that Jersey Beef is a profitable option for the dairy beef market.

“What Jersey’s lack in size they easily make up for in meat quality as far as taste and tenderness goes, and should be considered a viable option in any dairy beef operation.”

More like this

Red meat exports exceed $1 billion

New Zealand exported red meat and co-products worth just over $1 billion during March 2021, according to the latest analysis from the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Shameful

A mate of the Hound reckons a certain high-profile director of one of the country's big meat co-ops and recent addition to the board of a NZ wool company is living up the mantra of: "Do as I say, not as I do."

Red meat exports reached historic high in 2020

The New Zealand red meat sector exported $9.2 billion worth of products during 2020, an increase of 1% on the previous year, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

National

Machinery & Products

Made in NZ... Hansen Products

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in this country, producing productive…

New models mark seventh decade

Celebrating its 70th year – and having already released the fifth generation A Series in January – Valtra has just…

Kubota's new autumn offerings

Kubota, which is gaining traction in the agricultural sector with an ever-broadening portfolio, has announced some additions for autumn.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Get real

OPINION: A mate of the Hound's reckons recent over-the-top coverage about Lake Hawea station owners Geoff and Justine Ross as…

Red blooded

OPINION: Your canine crusader had a good old giggle over the reaction to a recent survey, which found that more…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter