Charbrays plus grass equals a winning formula says industry innovator: 2015
Charbrays plus grass equals a winning formula says industry innovator
The use of Charbray cattle whenever possible on methodically managed pastures provide solid foundations for Ian and Kate McCamley's successful Central Queensland grass-fed steer operation and their participation in the lucrative Pasturefed Cattle Accreditation System (PCAS).
The McCamleys' home base is Lowesby, north of Rolleston and forms part of their overall operation with takes in another family-owned property The Lake as well as two leased properties further north. Ian and Kate and their four school aged children Baxter, Cilla, Lawson and Hugo, are passionate about the rural industry as a lifestyle choice, but the bottom line for these innovative producers hinges on improved profitability. Ian, a former AgForce Cattle Board director and Cattle Council of Australia councillor was named 2013 Beef Producer of the Year for his role in establishing the Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS), an assurance program that enables the beef industry to support pasturefed or grass fed production claims in return for strong premiums.
Ian says Charbrays are the perfect animal for use in the PCAS in that they provide an edge over many other breeds through their ready ability to perform well on grass. Naturally, Ian is keen to see more processors grade under the PCAS system so the Australian beef industry can extract more untapped value from this lucrative market
"The demand for beef underpinned by the PCAS is growing. It provides a sound opportunity for other producers and processors to get involved and capitalise with this unique product," Ian said.
"Australian producers have an edge as a grass finishing industry given our warm climate and abundance of quality grazing land. With Charbray cattle, we have even more of an edge given the breed's ability to meet market specifications so readily and naturally off grass."
Ian said the introduction of Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading system into the major meat processing companies several years ago had been a major step in providing incentives for grass fed producers; the PCAS program however has taken the process a step further.
"Beef underpinned by the PCAS is providing real opportunity to turn off a unique product to meet the increasing demand from discerning consumers looking for healthy, natural, flavorsome beef."
Proof of the winning Charbray/PCAS combination can be found throughout the McCamley's operation. They buy weaner-age steers, mostly around 240kg -300kg from a range of selling centres including Emerald, Gracemere and Clermont. They also buy direct from other producers and online through Auctions Plus. Their steers are grown and finished on improved pastures across their properties to around 600kg live. Stock are predominantly PCAS accredited with about one third of their sale cattle going into the EU market. The cattle are finished and turned off anywhere from 24 to 36 months of age and sold mainly through Teys Australia's Biloela and Rockhampton processing plants and from time to time to other meatworks as well.
"If they take two years to finish – they need to bring a note," Ian jokes, inferring that these slower cattle are not tolerated as part of their program.
Regardless of which markets producers are targeting though, Ian's strongest advice is 'look after your grass!'
"Our number one focus is grass and keeping the whole plant healthy and productive. Paddocks that are starting to get short will be destocked and rested. Just as importantly paddocks that getting too long and rank will be stocked with a large number of mid -weight grower cattle to bring it back into line followed by some rest to regrow high quality pasture. We try to keep out stocking rates flexible according to pasture growth and seasons. We do get frosts in winter so we manage paddocks to ensure that our nearly finished cattle are on the best feed to capitalize on traditionally higher prices in the late winter period."
"We find that any animal with Charolais content is the ultimate animal to fatten without the use of HGPs. The Charolais genetics naturally enhance weight gain. And of course we always like to keep some Brahman content in our cattle for tick and heat tolerance. As long as Charbrays have softness, they will fatten. We have noticed that Charbrays regularly and consistently achieve the highest price of the day, regardless of how or where they are marketed."
An additional aid used by the McCamleys in securing premiums for their pasture-fed finishing program is the Ultra-Mac fat-depth scanner which measures, amongst other things, P8 (rump) fat specifications. The combined features of the scanner, a well-maintained supply of grass and participation in the PCAS, has seen the McCamleys secure premiums for their Charbray cattle in excess of $300 per carcass.
"By measuring the P8, we have been able to significantly improve market compliance. Cattle meeting the EU (European Union) market specification often command premiums of $150 - $250 per carcass. Additionally, there are significant premiums for PCAS cattle in Central Queensland which have been known to bring in excess of $300/carcass."
Ian said the scanner has really taken the guesswork out of measuring fat on their stock and added an extra dimension to their drafting methods and accuracies in the sale readiness process.
"Prior to using the scanner, we were pretty confident in identifying other specifications but fat was the one spec that was left to second guessing. The scanner has improved our compliance significantly and has become a central tool in our operation. While we have traditionally drafted cattle mainly on weight ranges and put them in finishing paddocks, we can now also draft on fat depth. This allows us to be a little less weight focused and select cattle that are close to meeting specifications, and allocate them to the most suitable paddock. Another feature of scanning is that it allows us to identify animals that have a tendency to fatten too early. These types of cattle are generally inefficient for our purposes and we would prefer to market them early and replace them with better quality."
Ian said that while Charbrays are ideal for the PCAS system he cautioned producers who have traditionally finished their cattle on a high energy grain diet grain to be mindful of whether their cattle are 'soft' enough to finish on grass.
"A softer beast with the ability to lay down enough fat at a moderate weight is ideal. Whilst some beef underpinned by PCAS goes into the lucrative US market, it is also under solid demand in our domestic market with 300 - 320kg dressed being the best carcass weight range to fit the PCAS grid and satisfy modern diners' steak size expectations. At any rate, the Charbray is a smart choice to fit the clean Australian beef image in that it has all of the right attributes to fit the grass fed pasture guidelines which in turn is the foundation of a green beef industry."
Ian said the strength of the PCAS program lay in its rigorous third party audit process.
"It is important to have your breed underpinned by a robust system. Consumers don't want to be diddled."
The requirements of the PCAS Standards mean that eligible cattle:
- Have open access to graze pasture their entire life
- Have not been confined for the purposes of intensive feeding for production
- Are fully traceable for their entire life via NLIS;
- Are guaranteed to eat well, based on MSA; and if required:
• Optional - Are free from Hormone Growth Promotants (HGPs); and/or
• Optional - Are free from antibiotics.
Charbrays in Demand: 2015
Charbrays in Demand
Here's proof from the front line of our industry
When it comes to observing trends in the cattle industry, who best to turn to, than the agents, buyers, feedlot operators and sale yard personnel who, with their ear to the ground and an eye for what constitutes quality, marketability and manageability, provide invaluable, unbiased comment. Unanimously, those interviewed by the Charbray Society reported strong increases in the demand for Charbray cattle in recent years, citing the breed's versatility in meeting a range of markets as one of its key selling points.
After more than four decades of working in the livestock selling industry, the past eight as Operations' Manager of the Maranoa Regional Saleyards in Roma, Terry Hyland has seen a lot of bull…….and cow…..and indeed a lot of all things bovine! One thing he has clearly observed at his complex is a changing of the guard from a predominately British breed domain to that of a melting pot of other breeds, with Charbrays securing a strong and sustainable presence.
Terry recalls his earlier days as an agent in Roma, which as recently as 20 years ago, carried the well-earned reputation as the 'whiteface capital of Australia'. There existed also a splattering of Shorthorn type cattle. So great was the demand for white face cattle that several sales per year were dedicated exclusively to them.
This scenario, according to Terry, has changed dramatically, particularly in the past 15 years in which there has been a 'big swing' towards Bos Indicus type cattle. And although the centre no longer holds the white face title, its standing as one of the biggest selling centres in the Southern Hemisphere remains hard to beat, with store cattle yardings averaging over 7000 head per week and fat yardings averaging around 1500 head with sales held every Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
2017 marks the 50th birthday of the Roma Selling Complex, formed in 1967 under the auspices of the former Roma Town and Bungil Shire Councils, who following amalgamation as a local government authority in 2007 continue to own and administer the centre. It's a diverse and busy place with buyers coming from near and far and stock sourced from as far afield as Alice Springs (NT) and Cameron's Corner which nestles on the Queensland/New South Wales/ South Australia border.
"We are very fortunate to be so centrally located so as to attract buyers and sellers from so many corners. In fact places such as Cameron's corner are pretty much equal distance from Roma and Adelaide so there is the option to go either way, depending on seasons and prices," Terry said.
"I remember as an agent we would see a few Charbrays coming through the yards, say 20 years ago, mainly as crosses. Now we see large consignments of Charbray infused cattle coming through. I would estimate upward towards 40 per cent. They are very adaptable cattle which attract strong demand from restockers, feedlots and major meatworks."
Dave Carter who manages the Blackall/Tambo Regional Council Saleyards has witnessed a similar trend to Terry, recalling very few Chabray type cattle coming through his complex when he started on the job nearly 20 years ago. Much has changed however.
"I have definitely witnessed a consistent improvement in quality and as with all good quality cattle, they attract a premium. Charbrays are definitely up there with the any of them," Dave said.
"As far as the fat cattle sales go you can be confident that the Charbrays are not over-fat and that they are consistent and that they will yield well. They are a great breed in that they offer a degree of softness but are not too tightly bound which means they have good mobility. They are tough as well. I see them come and go from as far afield as Mt Isa and North Queensland."
Dave said the demand for Charbray cattle was particularly evident at the monthly weaner sales conducted and the Blackall/Tambo Saleyards.
"As weaners they are so versatile and can be marketed in so many different ways. They can go live export, into a feedlot or into a paddock; when they return to the yards as finished cattle they are on fire. You don't see any 'rubbish' Charbray."
The Blackall/Tambo region has been severely impacted by recent drought conditions in recent months, but well-bred Charbray cattle had demonstrated their ability to hold on and continue to make a significant contribution to sales, currently being held fortnightly, instead of weekly due to dry conditions.
"The season crashed and we missed out on any significant summer rain particularly to the west. There is a big area of country that is still in trouble. Even here in town we are feeling it. The kangaroos and emus are coming right up to the yards in the hope of finding some green pick. Of course, as well as being dry, it was another hot summer out here but we are blessed at the yards to have a series of big Fig trees which is a great relief for man and beast alike."
Dave said the likes of local veteran cattleman Pat Bredhauer, 'Lambert', Tambo had played a strong role in promoting Charbrays throughout the region through is his commercial herd as well as his annual September stud sale.
Roma-based cattle buyer Michael Barron, whose client base extends well into western Queensland and the north, said he had also witnessed the changing role of Charbray cattle. Michael said the collapse of the live export trade several years ago combined with the preference of several major meat processing companies of stock with no 'humps' had given the Charbray breed an opportunity to successfully expand into new areas.
"These circumstances really forced producers in areas such as north and north-west of Winton and Cloncurry, for instance to consider alternatives. The Charbray certainly provided them with a valuable alternative whereby they could retain the toughness of their existing Brahman content while incorporating other Charbray features," Michael explained.
Feedlots such as Darling Downs based Mort and Co also recognize Charbrays as one of their key performers, particularly in the short-fed (100 day) category. Mort and Co Livestock Manager Brett Campbell said the company's Grassdale feedlot near Dalby regularly purchased Charbray cattle as part of their weekly requirements.
"Over time, we have seen the attributes of Charbray cattle, with their capacity for strong average daily gains and generally higher yields to provide a good fit for our 100 day program, Brett said.
Queensland however is not the only state in which Charbrays are shining. The breed has gained ground interstate as well with strong and continued demand reported from areas within northern and southern New South Wales as well as Victoria.
Darren Perkins, an auctioneer and managing director of George & Fuhrmann in Casino, NSW says demand for Charbray cattle, particularly vealers, has increased three to fourfold in his selling area in as many years, with buyers from as far away as Albury/Wodonga and Melbourne wanting a share in the Charbray market.
"One of the things driving this demand is the boutique butcher trade, particularly in Melbourne. The butchers can't get enough of vealer type Charbrays that dress out at say between 170kg – 200kg," Darren explained.
"Breeders also love them because they are good milkers. Therefore they can hold onto a weaner for a bit longer and have it ready for the vealer/butcher market. Whether they are PTIC females or weaner heifers, we are always on the lookout for genetically sound Charbray females," Darren said.
Charbrays prove their worth: September, 2015
Charbrays prove their worth: September, 2015
Charbray producers have had much to celebrate recently with a string of outstanding results achieved at a number of prestigious sales and competitions across Queensland. These results boost confidence and reinforce the advantages gained from finely tuned breeding programmes which embrace Charbrays as a stand- alone breed.
Breed stalwarts Les and Anne Marshall are just some of the many producers who have recognized the benefits that stem from the ongoing use of Charbrays in their commercial cattle operation.
With genetic consistency and marketability being their main objective, the Marshalls are equally proud of the results their cattle are fetching at events such as the hotly contested annual Callide Dawson Beef Carcase Competition at Biloela in June, where they took home the Champion and Reserve Champion Grass Fed Steer Awards.
Aged between 18 and 20 months, the steers were weaned and grown out onto grass and leucaena on their Jambin district property Greenfield. The Marshall's Champion exhibit produced a hot score carcase weight of 398.4kg and measured 11mm of fat at the P8, 15mm at the rib, and a EMA of 105sq cm. The Reserve Champion also emerged from the same pen of three with a hot score carcase weight of 358.2kg,12mm of fat depth at the P8, and 15mm at the rib and an EMA of 97sq cm.
The Greenfield influence was also felt in July when a pen of grass fed steers, owned by T.H.F Agri Business and sired by a Greenfield bull, took out the Champion Pen Award at the Central Queensland Carcase Classic.
Les said the success enjoyed by Greenfield and fellow producers reflected the benefits gained not only from generational breeding at the stud level but from using Charbrays as a stand-alone breed at the commercial level.
"A number of commercial breeders have already extended their use of Charbrays beyond that of a rotational cross to perennial use," Les said.
"As a breed Society, this is certainly the objective we are aiming for and are keen to promote further. We are at a point now that we have great confidence that the Charbray breed can stand on its own two feet, while still maintaining the inherent characteristics of its parent breeds."
Charbrays have also been star performers for the Nobb's family this year. At Beef Australia, a pen of 10 heifers belonging to Chas and Judy Nobbs, Cordelia, Moura, was sashed Grand Champion in the Pasture-Fed Class, while a second pen of the same class, also owned by Chas and Judy, took out Reserve Champion. Both pens were weaned and finished on leucaena and buffel on their Moura property. Chas and his two brothers Stewart and Roger Nobbs also took out Grand Champion for a pen of 10 Pasture Fed steers, finished on buffel at Springsure. Overall, the Nobbs were competing against 1200, mixed breed exhibits.
Success followed to the Biloela Show in May, where Chas's son and daughter-in-law, Phillip and Stephanie Nobbs, Delargum, Moura, took out the Champion Bullock Award, while Chas's achievement in winning Champion Heifer, Reserve Champion Heifer as well as Champion Pen of Steers and Heifers – all being Charbray entries. – was rewarded with him receiving the Champion Exhibit Award of the Show. To top off his winning streak, Chas also snagged the Champion Heifer Award at the Callide Valley Carcase competition with his Charbray entry.
One of the breed's most recent achievements was a Charbray No 4 milk tooth steer belonging to GL Campbell Family Partnership of Jambin which took out the honours for the highest individual weight gain in the 70-day grain fed trial section of this year's RNA Paddock to Palate Competition. The steer recorded an average daily weight gain of 3.8 kg, ahead of its nearest rival who recorded a 3.44 kg per day gain. Known as the richest single prime beef competition in Australia, the Paddock to Palate competition is co-ordinated by the RNA with major sponsors Mort & Co, feeding the cattle at their Grassdale feedlot at Dalby. Mort & Co's Private Client Manager Berry Reynolds said the Campbell family's success was a notable feat given the standard of competition and a clear reflection that the Charbray breed has the capacity to meet a range of markets, such as the 100 day Export and 70 day domestic markets.
Results such as these will no doubt help generate continued demand for Charbray cattle. All vendors at this year's sale are Certified Charbray breeders carrying the Charbray Trademark. These dedicated Charbray seed stock producers are using carefully planned breeding programmes to produce bulls that are meeting market demands with more reliability, therefore producing quality lines of cattle.
Charbrays fit the bill in maximizing productivity: September, 2015
Charbrays fit the bill in maximizing productivity: September, 2015
|Bush Agribusiness consultant Ian McLean offers some wise words for beef producers|
The Charbray Society of Australia has endorsed the MLA's Northern Beef Report which urges cattlemen to maximize productivity in their herds as a means of boosting profitability and addressing declining terms of trade in the beef industry.
And Charbrays are perfectly packaged to achieve this objective, according to former Society president Matthew Welsh who says the breed has been hugely successful in harnessing the traits of fertility, adaptability and performance – features which are essential in maximizing productivity.
"We must remember, that while we cannot change the environment in which our businesses operate, we can control the way the business is operated and one of the biggest influences is the type of cattle – the right genetics for that environment," Mr Welsh said.
"As a breed, Charbrays have developed a consistency of type that fits a range of markets, allowing producers not only to maximize production but to be shielded from market fluctuations as well."
Mr Welsh also agrees with the Report's lead author and Bush Agribusiness consultant Ian McLean who cautions producers to be wary of media reports exposing 'record high' cattle prices which fail to take into account factors such as inflation and the cost of production.
"While the last thing anyone wants to do is to dampen enthusiasm in the beef industry, I agree with Ian that, although cattle prices may be at record highs in nominal terms, producers need to look at long-term prices in real terms to get a clear picture. This means factoring inflation and comparing changes in purchasing power over time," Mr Welsh said.
Instead of concentrating on prices alone, Mr McLean recommends the focus should be on productivity – or in other words maximizing the kilograms of beef produced in the long term.
"The focus should be on what can be done within the boundary fence, over the long term, through all seasonal and market conditions, to produce the most beef at the lowest cost. And cutting expenses alone is not the answer – it's more about scrutinizing and targeting expenditure so that every dollar spent returns the maximum amount. "
This approach is further promoted in the CashCow project which highlights the importance of breeder management, particularly the timing of calving and selection of fertile females into the breeding herd.
"Improvements in these areas can be leveraged by genetic gain, boosting productivity and return," Mr McLean said.
National Charbray Sale provides quality Charbray genetics for buyers in the know….
National Charbray Sale provides quality Charbray genetics for buyers in the know….
by Louise Golden
Cliff and Kathleen White know a thing or two about cattle and in particular Charbrays which have been integral to their Central Queensland breeder operation for close on two decades.
It’s not surprising then that the veteran cattle producers are looking forward to the upcoming National Charbray Bull and Female sale which they see as an opportunity to source the purest of generationally bred Charbray genetics which in turns assures them consistency at all levels of their breeding program.
“We are looking for quality and we also like to be able to talk to the other breeders and obtain as much information about the bulls we are interested in before the sale starts,” Cliff said.
According to Cliff, Charbray bulls are the exact ingredient required to produce the perfect offspring on his and Kathleen’s Glenroy district property Home Hill Station, 85 kilometers North West of Rockhampton.
The White’s breeding program originally involved the use of Charbray bulls over Brahman cows, a practice that allowed them to ensure the continuation of the short, clean coat, inherent in the Brahman breed.
“We have tried other breeds but we genuinely believe that Charbrays are the most suited to our country and conditions,” Cliff said.
“We have about ten kilometres of Fitzroy River/Brigalow country as well as some forest country and a small amount of irrigated fodder crop.”
Home Hill Station is run predominately as a weaner operation with the Whites having established strong, reliable private and saleyard markets for their progeny which consistently weigh in around 230 kg at 6-8 months old.
“I find the Charbray calves are a bit smaller at birth but they grow out at a much faster rate than,” Cliff said.
“Even as weaners, you can really notice their nice square rump. Being able to turn them off quickly is one of their many great attributes. Over the 20 years that we have been using Charbrays we have bought bulls from a variety of studs; what I really look for in bulls is a nice straight back, a good temperament ,a good eye and good muscle depth. They are such a versatile breed. I can’t see us changing from them.”
The Whites also retain a small proportion of offspring for fattening and as with their weaner stock, are met with strong and consistent demand.“Bullocks fill out very quickly for us and the dress very well at the meatworks.”
TOUGH TIMES BUT QUALITY REMAINS A FEATURE
TOUGH TIMES BUT QUALITY REMAINS A FEATURE
Despite harsh economic and climatic conditions, The 36th National Bull and Female Sale has done the Charbray breed proud with Charbray Society of Australia President Paul Connor describing the sale line-up as one of the best he has seen.
Mr Connor said that while the September 25th CQLX sale results echoed the squeeze being felt throughout the cattle industry, buyers were able to secure superior sires at realistic prices.
“Given the tight conditions, it was possibly the best quality line-up the sale has had thus far. For the prices buyers paid and the quality they received, you could say it was a buyers’ market, but the returns will certainly be there for them in what they purchased,” Mr Connor said.
A number of repeat buyers as well as some new faces boosted the sale’s buoyancy to achieve a top price of $10, 000; an average of $3586; and a 72 per cent clearance. Bush Holdings was the volume buyer on the day, taking home 12 bulls for use in its Alpha operation while GL Campbell & Co was also on hand to purchase seven bulls.
Mr Connor congratulated George and Cathy Hoare of Rockview Cattle Company who topped the sale with a 22-month old bull, Braylyn Hoodlum which sold for $10,000 to PJ and EJ Campman of Calen, north of Mackay. Hoodlum will be used over the Campman’s Brhaman and Charbray females on their coastal breeder property.
The Hoares, who had on offer four lots, also achieved the highest individual vendor average of $6000. Whilst this figure was down on the impressive $9750 average they notched up at last year’s sale, it was still an admirable amount given the overall selling environment. The Hoares’ success in the selling ring has not been confined to the National Sale – they also topped the 2012 Rocky All Breeds Sale with Braylyn Ferdinand selling to Jeff and Delrae Shaw of Commanche Cattle Co for $9500.
Bruce and Sue Mikkelsen, Wiluna Charbrays, Gin Gin were also stand-out vendors at the National Sale fetching second-top price of $8000 for their 29-month old entry Wiluna Gigolo, bought by fellow stud breeders PC & SC Nobbs, Cordelia Charbray Stud, Moura.
The Mikkelsens have been breeding Charbray cattle for about 16 years; they established Wiluna in 2005 and run 130 head of commercial females and 350 stud females on their Bruce Highway property, 38 kilometers north of Gin Gin. Although relatively new to the stud game, the Mikklesens have achieved strong and consistent sales results which include the sale in 2011 of the National Bull and Female Sale second-top priced bull to Les and Anne Marshall, Greenfields Stud, Jambin.
“I try and breed cattle that buyers want; some have different needs and preferences so I try and achieve a degree of versatility. You don’t get too many like Gigalo though! He was great, even from a calf he stood out – a good all-rounder,” Bruce said.
As testimony to a growing confidence and respect between stud producers, it is noted that George and Cathy Hoare’s sale topper Braylyn Hoodlum was sired by a Wiluna bull purchased by the Hoares several years earlier; Wiluna’s top-seling bull Gigolo, in turn, was sired by a Cordelia bull.
“It’s a bit of a milestone within a breed when established and respected studs show such support for each other’s genetics. It is also pleasing to note that increasingly, Charbrays are being recognized for their place in the traditional Bos Indicus northern cattle herds,” Mr Connor said.
The Hoare family knows a thing or two about breeding cattle and the results from the recent National Charbray Bull and Female Sale are a direct reflection of the respect their cattle have earned from fellow stud and commercial breeders alike.
George and Cathy Hoare and their two children Brayden (20) and Ashlyn (18) are Rockview’s current custodians and the third and fourth generation of Hoare family members to call Rockview home. George’s late grandfather (also George) purchased Walton in 1940. Rockview homestead block was purchased in 1948. The now 17,500-acre holding was also home to George (junior’s) parents Tom and Philomena with George and Cathy taking on the reins in 1988, upon Tom’s passing.
Despite Rockview’s 73-year-long history, its owners are not content to rest on their laurels when it comes to perfecting their stud and breeding herd. George and Cathy’s Braylyn Charbray Stud was registered in 2006, with Charolais Brahman cross cows used initially in their stud’s foundation stock. They acquired their first registered Charbray sires, Huntington Backdraft and Colinta Basil in 2008 and have been selling at the National Bull and Female Sale ever since.
Situated just three kilometers east of the Bluff township and 25 kilometers from Blackwater, Rockview provides a versatile mix of breeder and fattening country with George and Cathy running in excess of 900 head of commercial and stud females, predominantly Charbray and Brahman cross, grazed on a mix of lighter forest country and fully-developed Brigalow. Seasons pending, Rockview also carries several hundred head of agistment stock.
George first became interested in Charbrays after his father purchased a pen of store heifers at a Gracemere store sale in 1984. These heifers contained a percentage of Charbray types. The family bought their first Charolais bull in 1992 with the resultant progeny showing exceptional weight advantages compared to their straight Brahman calves.
“Traditionally we ran Brahman-cross type cattle on Rockview, however, over the years we recognized the value in the weight gains of the European cross; the main features we look for in our bulls are a masculine head and a long, growthy, moderate frame with a tidy underline,” George said.
Despite the challenges facing vendors at this year’s National Bull and Female Sale, George and Cathy were pleased with their results, particularly that of their top performer Braylyn Hoodlum.
“Everything was right about him. He was growthy and he stood well.”
John and Margie Speed have been sourcing Braylyn bloodline steers from George and Cathy Hoare for about six years for use in their fattening operation and home property Redrock, between Rolleston and Blackwater. The long-term Charbray advocates and grazing identities are not surprised by Braylyn’s success at the recent National Bull and Female Sale, having long held George and Cathy Hoare’s cattle - and the Charbray breed in general - in the highest regard.
“George and Cathy’s cattle are among the best I buy,” John enthused.
Charbrays have featured in the Speed’s finishing operation for many years. As well as buying sale yards’ cattle, in more recent years they have adopted a more targeted approach to selecting stock which includes a rolling deal struck about six years ago with George and Cathy. This arrangement sees John and Margie hand pick a quantity of steers from Rockview annually for finishing on predominately grass country on Redrock and in readiness for direct sale to meatworks in Rockhampton.
John said he particularly likes the big-boned, fleshy structure inherent in Rockview’s steers; he also puts a high value on the consistent line of cattle he is able to present for sale as a result of his on-going investment.
“I have found Charbrays in general to be very saleable across a range of markets. Unlike some other breeds that I have observed, Charbrays have the ability to continue to grow. By that, I mean they don’t reach a peak and then either over-fatten or go backwards; if you have protein in your grass, they will continue to convert into kilos until the day they go on the truck!”
Click here for 2014 Editorials
Click here for 2013 Editorials
Click here for 2012 Editorials
Click here for 2011 Editorials
Click here for 2010 Editorials
Click here for 2009 Editorials
Click here for 2008 Editorials