Elite Market Focus


For over 45  years,  Elite  Poll  Herefords  have  been  selected  on   objective performance, initially fertility,structure and weight,with addition of carcase data in more recent years.


This objective selection was initiated from commercialneeds,and always with commercial markets as the aim.


Introduced in very small numbers in the late 1970's and have always been run as part of the commercial herd and subject to the same stringent selection criteria.


As the cattle at "Eulalia" must perform on predominantly native pasture, pressure on fertility, growth, milk and soundness is severe and all assessments for Group Breedplan are measured under these commercialconditions.


Sires used in the herd have been selected for their own  and their dam's fertility, sound feet, legs, eyes and udders of their  dams combined  with moderate  birth  weights, positive calving ease, good milk,  above average growth and market aligned carcase traits. Such bulls have been sourced from within the Elite herd, many parts of Australia or overseas with extensive use of A.I. over 30 years.


The above, combined with  the excellent temperament  of the cattle, which enhances desirable carcase characteristics, should ensure the basis of  a quality product is available to the end consumer.

At Elite Poll Herefords, we concentrate solely on the commercial needs of beef production as this is our core business, and have been doing so since 1967. This means selection, with the assistance of tools like EBV's, aims to produce highly fertile animals with ease of calving, good growth and milk yet with muscularcarcases that display adequate IMF.

This package must be in an animal of excellent structure and quiet temperament. Quiet temperament improves performance generally and, in particular, meat quality. It also provides safety plus ease of handling for everyone along the production chain. Client feedback shows great appreciation of the emphasis on good temperament in the combined genetic package.

Calving ease, without having to use another breed, is seen as vital for commercial breeders, as our income is heavily dependent on the number of calves produced and the weight of those calves when sold. Calving ease is a complex issue with genetic and environmental (pastures,drought,management,etc) influences. To improve one part of the genetics of the equation, we, at Elite,have always culled any female that has had calving problems plus any of her surviving progeny. That is,all females used in our breeding program have calved unassisted at all times. With sires, we favour those with moderate birth weights and positive calving ease direct, but particularly those whose daughters calve unassisted.

Breeding genetic calving ease into a herd can be a long term project but it does work, and the aids available from Group Breedplan are particularly useful. We want our clients to share the benefits from our selection through the bulls they select.

The herd of 350 commercial and registered breeders are run together as a commercial herd on native pastures,most of which have been oversown with sub clovers and fertilized with superphosphate. This ensures all assessments are done under all the stresses of normal commercial production.

Selection to increase carcase muscling has enabled Elite steers and heifers to take advantage of higher priced grids, like the MSA and the better EU grids, These grids require a C shape butt and acceptable meat colour. Adequate muscling must underlay the premium fat requirement to attain the C butt. Our animals' quiet temperament plus good trucking management is necessary to preserve meat colour on long trucking journeys. Successful conformance of heifers to the higher priced grids is a real bonus for us.

Saleyard buyers also pay a premium for better muscled cattle (NLRS analysis) with the correct fat cover. These premiums are virtually impossible to enjoy unless the whole herd muscling is rasied to well above breed average.

An increase in muscling also increases dressing percentage of carcases, and assists achieve a more even carcase fat cover. A further bonus of the better muscled cattle from elite is that carcase weights are higher relative to 600 day weights, thus reducing the maintenance requirements of the herd, whilst maintaining or increasing slaughter weights. 

Other carcase attributes are not overlooked in the Elite selection program. The recognition that higher IMF is necessary to ensure enhanced eating quality for our product, and to take advantage of the longer fed feedlot markets, directs our selection. Well muscled animals with above average IMF levels increase market options for us and our clients. For example, markets requiring MSA compliant cattle have given premium returns to Elite steers and heifers. Elite steers and heifers achive top MSA grading which ensures a top eating quility product. Our selection program, includes achieving good IMF levels and superior weight for age. The latter leads to lower ossification scores, wich, in turn, contributes to better MSA results.

Significant numbers of our Elite steers and heifers have also been assessed, at a number of different feedlots, for their performance during the feeding and chiller phases. 

Above average results have been attained because of their good structure, ability to gain, and their ability to satisfy the chiller criteria. 

Feed efficient animals should be a bonus to pasture fed systems or feedlot systems. In feedlots, economies from producing more kilos of gain from less feed inputs will create acceptance and useage of such animals. In the pasture systems, greater numbers of feed efficient animals could be run on a given area to increase production, or fewer animals to give the same production. in dry times, feed efficient animals should maintain themselves for longer without supplementation and need less of the correct supplement when necessary. 

At Elite we have been aware of these possibilities for some time and sent progeny groups to Trangie Research Station for Net Feed Intake testing in the mid nineties. Although this method is the most accurate, it is too expensive for a large number of animals. Elite also took blood samples from calves for several years to assist with research to try to find a simpler way to compare feed efficient animals. Unfortunately this method was not successful. Therefore, we eagerly await the research to provide a cost effective, relatively simply applied test for on farm use and collecion of data for this most valuable trait. 

Sires used to produce the commerically superior animals we strive for at Elite come mainly from within the Elite herd as a product of our selection program. Introduction of additional genetics that satisfy our criteria is achieved by the use of AI.