Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Wagyus on the rise

Goorambat Wagyu owner Dominic Bayard expects the trend of Wagyu becoming more popular in Australia to continue.

May 13, 2014 3:05am

Wagyus on David Bayard's Gooroombat property.

Goorambat Wagyu owner Dominic Bayard expects the trend of Wagyu becoming more popular in Australia to continue.

Figures released by the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders’ Association indicate Wagyu registrations have doubled over the past decade, including a 26 per cent lift from 2013 to 2014.

That followed an 11 per cent jump during the previous 12 months.

Mr Bayard has been involved with the breed revered for its marbled meat since the early 1990s. When he and wife Jo moved to Goorambat 10 years ago, they took up breeding them.

‘‘They are the meat breed,’’ Mr Bayard said.

As well as the commercial Wagyu farm — from which most animals are sent to South Australia’s Mayura Station before their carcases are run through a processor at Pakenham and exported to Asia and the Middle East — the Bayards also export embryos to China.

‘‘We have over 2000 full-blood Wagyu on the ground in China from embryos we have sent,’’ Mr Bayard said.

Including young stock, they have 340 Wagyu cattle.

Mr Bayard said the future looked ‘‘very bright’’ for the Japanese breed particularly as customer demand increased.

‘‘There is a huge interest in Wagyu, particularly from an export point of view and because there is a premium paid for Wagyu infused cattle in feedlots.’’

Mr Bayard said the Australian Wagyu Association had been proactive in the past three years to get people to register their animals.

With 6657 registrations in 2013, Wagyu remains the fastest growing major breed in the nation and moves up to eighth in the registration hierarchy, up from 10th the previous year and moving past other significant breeds in the process.

As of Friday, the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders’ Association had not released the full list to the public.

Australian Wagyu Association executive officer Graham Truscot said there were herds of up to 40000 high-content Wagyu cattle in Queensland and some herds of full-blood registered Wagyu that ran thousands of breeders.

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