Simmental-Fleckvieh beef does farmers proud

Sally Brooker

South Canterbury farmers David and Jayne Timperley have long known the eating quality virtues of Simmental beef.

Simmental, a breed traditionally recognised for its fast live weight gain, has toppled Angus for eating quality in the results of the latest Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) trial.

The BLNZ beef progeny test, established in 2014, compares bulls under commercial farming conditions. It involves mating 2200 cows and heifers a year and assessing steers for their finishing performance and carcass traits.

This year’s trials showed Simmentals were reaching growth and eating quality targets more quickly than other breeds.

Simmental outranked Angus for beef eating quality reserve grade. It had an average score of 44.6%, while the Angus average was 43.8%.

Of the 52 sires tested, Simmental ranked three and four. The highest ranking to Angus was 14.

Mr Timperley, of Opawa Simmentals, said more farmers should use a Simmental bull – they would not lose out on meat quality, and would gain exceptionally quick growth.

The couple have 110 Simmental cows on their farm at Cave, South Canterbury. They registered their stud in 1993 and have bred for good temperament, ease of calving, good growth rates, and ability to thrive in any commercial situation.

Mr Timperley said the Simmental breed, originally from Switzerland, ”took off with such a hiss and a roar” in New Zealand that all sorts of undesirable characteristics were released on to farms.

The breeders who stuck with Simmentals had since ”sorted” perceived issues such as temperament, he said.

”They grade out well and they eat well.”

The Timperleys use Simmental bulls over their Hereford-cross cows and dairy herd.

They are having an on farm sale of 230 Simmental-cross yearlings on October 1.

In a statement, Simmental Council president Colleen Knauf said the results confirmed that estimated breeding values (EBV) worked, she said.

”EBVs across breeds do a good job of improving actual performance, with 73% of the sires’ EBVs turning into actual calf performance.

”If you use improved EBVs, you will get improved calves. And better calves equal
better money.

”Popular belief has placed Angus as the breed to deliver on eating quality, but as the results show, Simmental is now punching above its weight when it comes to EQ.

”With its impressive growth to slaughter results, Simmental delivers from farm to fork.”

A Simmental came first in the 2018 Steak of Origin competition.

The story “Simmental beef does farmers proud” first appeared on Otago Daily Times.

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