Charbray Association Australia


Carolyn Landsberg - December 2009

Embracing an industry and looking ahead
By Katie Lloyd

Working across a range of sectors within the Australian cattle industry has reaffirmed Carolyn Landsberg’s passion for beef production. Based at Quilpie, Carolyn’s life has revolved around cattle and she is committed to pursuing a future in the industry.

“Whether life’s experiences determine a person’s passions, or their passions determine their experiences, one thing is for certain; I am passionate about beef cattle. I’m sure it’s come through my genes,” Carolyn said. Her early childhood was spent on her parent’s properties at Charleville and later at their Quilpie based property, Milo Station.

Carolyn Landsberg at Quilpie Spelling Yards.    Carolyn Landsberg

Her early years paved the way for her future and motivated her to experience life in many fields across the industry. She has worked in a feedlot, a saleyard, at a stud, as a drover and as a contract musterer with her husband in south west Queensland’s Channel Country. Today she runs the Quilpie Spelling Yards in conjunction with operating her newly formed Charbray stud at her property, Bulls Gully.

Taking on the lease of the Quilpie Spelling Yards in 2008 was a big commitment, but one Carolyn believed needed to be done. In good years it has seen over 80,000 head of cattle roll through the gates, all requiring feed and water during their rest.

Owned by Queensland Rail, the future of the yards looks uncertain and Carolyn is concerned about what lies ahead. “At present the Labour Government’s lack of commitment to regional areas is bringing enormous detriment to families and their businesses. We don’t know what will happen down the track. Quilpie is at the end of the railway line heading west and plays a pivotal role in moving cattle east to markets. If it is shut down I don’t know where it will leave me and the thousands of cattle and their owners who in the past have relied on this rail head at Quilpie,” she said.

Working with all breeds of cattle throughout her life, Carolyn first came across Charbray cattle about 15 years ago through her parents who were looking at different breeds to cross over their 30 year old female herd. Today they too have a registered Charbray stud.

With so many advantages, Carolyn finds it difficult to pinpoint exactly what it was that initially attracted her to the breed. “Having seen the performance of many different breeds in various circumstances, I believe that Charbray cattle possess those traits which make them excel in most markets, and perform in most conditions and locations,” she said. “There are great cattle in every breed, but for the conditions in south west Queensland, I think it is very hard to fault Charbrays.”

Carolyn’s aim at Bulls Gully is to breed quality working, polled Charbray bulls suited to south west Queensland. “The Brahman content in Charbrays puts them in good stead enabling them to walk the vast distances between water and feed and gives them the toughness, and intelligence, required to survive in such a harsh environment. The Charolais contribution on the other hand not only produces a lovely temperament, but also puts terrific bone and muscling into the animal producing an earlier finishing, and heavier article,” she said. “I have seen finished Charbray ox from feedlots and from the Channel Country weigh up to 200kg heavier than their Brahman counterparts, and when you are getting paid by the kilogram, why wouldn’t you breed a Charbray?” Carolyn added.

Bulls Gully’s female herd comprises about 200 registered females including Brahman, Charolais and Charbrays, all which run on straight mulga country with minimum supplement. Carolyn places a huge emphasis on selecting females for fertility, temperament, softness, confirmation and being polled. Quality registered Charbray bulls are used over these females in a bid to produce the desired article.

As an active member of the Charbray Society, Carolyn believes the breed is moving ahead and is proud to be a part of its advancement. “The society is extremely active thanks to its devoted members and I believe this is really driving the breed. It is great to have seen it lock down on the register which ultimately means breeders will be producing a pure article and seeing a more professional management of the herd, including EBVs,” she said. “I am very proud to be a member of this society and even prouder to be breeding its animals.”


S. Kidman & Co Charbrays - September 2009

Charbrays Integral To Composite Program

CHARBRAY genetics play a key role in the northern operations of S Kidman and Co's vast cattle operations at Helen Springs (NT) and Ruby Plains (WA) where Charbray bulls are used over Brahman and Charbray females with the steer progeny sent to the channel country for grass fattening for the Jap ox market.

Will Abel-Smith, S. Kidman & Co."They do this very well for us," S. Kidman & Co livestock marketing manager Will Abel-Smith said. "Some are sent into the liveship market for which they are also very suitable."

S Kidman and Company cattle have a strong reputation in the live export markets, with turnoff being keenly sought. The company is also using Charbray cattle as part of its composite trial, the result of which produces composites that are approximately one quarter each of Murray Grey, Tuli, Charolais, Brahman.

"We are breeding up Murray Grey cross Tuli bulls which are going across our Charbray females and are putting Charbrays bulls across our Murray Grey cross Tuli Heifers," Mr Abel-Smith said.

"We believe that this combination will give us a highly fertile (MG, Tuli), 50 percent plus tropically adapted animal (Tuli, Brahman) that is only 25pc or thereabouts Bos Indicus.

"We expect good growth and carcass (Charolais, MG) all in a white/silver coat which is good for the treeless plains in the Barkly”.

“Charbray cattle are a well accepted part of the northern beef herds and are producing some very good offspring” Mr Abel-Smith said.

"They certainly make good bullocks off our flood country, however we would like to see more "measurement" in the breed and Breedplan would be a good start”.

"We are doing some AI as part of the composite trials and have specifically targeted Huntington as they were able to provide more information than most breeders.

"Early Breedplan figures are available and we were happy to see them, even if they don't mean much at this early stage. Birth weights can be a concern so need information to aid selection for heifers. We need more information in order to make the right decisions in our herds. Would like to see smoother coats in the higher Bos Indicus content cattle to combat buffalo fly in the north.

"Overall we are very happy with the Charbrays that we use, we select them carefully and from specific herds but those cattle do all that we want. We will continue to use Charbray genetics in one form or another".


Kyogle Charbrays - August 2009

Charbrays have butchers’ needs covered
by Amy Lawson

WHETHER it is wet or dry, attaining sufficient fat cover on beef cattle on the NSW North Coast is one of the biggest challenges for producers.

The Charbray breed is making its mark with butchers, who equally struggle to find the right article – a carcase with five to 12 millimetres of fat cover.

A Kyogle producer who bought his first Charbray heifers back in 1981 has stuck by the breed and is now supplying the local butcher trade.

Alf and Claire Jarrett, “New Park”, Kyogle, had featured on the winner’s podium at successive local show beef competitions, and their Charbray heifers had achieved impressive meat yield percentages of more than 60 per cent.

Wiluna Chabrays

Mr Jarrett said he paid $114 each for his first consignment of Charbray heifers, and clearly remembered their solid weight gains.

“I could not believe how well they did,” he said.

“They were lovely big-framed cattle but they weren’t lanky.

“I’ve worked towards maintaining a compact, low-set, medium-framed herd, to ensure good meat yield.

“If you get dry weather they seem to hold on well, and the same applies in wet weather.”

The Jarrett’s ‘pool room’ was over-flowing with trophies and ribbons from their many beef competition wins.

Last year, they won the Bangalow Show beef competition with a nine-and-a-half-month-old, 206-kilogram (dressed) Charbray heifer that returned a 62.9pc yield.

They won eight of the past nine Bangalow Show beef competitions – mostly with Charbray heifers – and won the Kyogle Show pen of three light vealers (up to 280kg liveweight) for the past three years running.

“People talk about heifers not providing good yields but my heifers come very close to the steers,” MrJarrett said.

They joined their females to bulls that featured a good balance between eye muscle area (EMA) and fat cover.

The Jarretts ran 170 breeders on their 80-hectare property and 80ha of nearby lease country, with young cows bought in from across south-east Queensland and locally.

Their son, Kelvin, ran more than 200 mainly Charbray breeders at his nearby properties.

Calving was stretched from February to late-October, with a preference to offload nine- to 10-month-old calves before Christmas, averaging 190kg (dressed).

The properties consisted mainly of paspalum and kikuyu grass, with grain supplementation to assist growing calves.

Mr Jarrett intended to continue along his current path using Charbrays, with multiple marketing options available to him.

Cattle buyer, Kevin Flack, Casino Livestock Enterprises, “Ridge Park”, Clovass, east of Casino, said the popularity of Charbray cattle on the Far North Coast today was in stark contrast to 12 to 15 years ago, when they could not be found at the region’s saleyards.

“The whole district has embraced them and they’re now very, very popular,” he said.

“They are ideal for our veal market and yield well, so the processors who are buying them are getting good results.”

Mr Flack said the breed’s ability to handle the heat and buffalo flies, combined with good early growth characteristics made them a valid choice for producers marketing vealers, yearlings, and bullocks.

The Charbray breed was developed in Texas, United States, in the 1930s, when Charolais bulls were crossed with Brahman females.

The Charbray Society of Australia was formed in 1977, and since its inception, the society’s membership had reached 95 studs, with more than 13,000 cattle registered in the herd book.

The 32nd National Charbray Bull and Female Sale would be held on Wednesday (September 23) at the Gracemere Saleyards, Rockhampton, with 105 lots set to go under the hammer.

Charbray Society vice-president, Matt Welsh, “Huntington”, Taroom, Queensland, said traditionally, the breed had been regarded as an animal ideally suited to the heavier end of the export market.

“In recent years, shorter seasons have meant more producers have been utilising feedlots to finish cattle that would normally be finished on pasture or crop, and this has shown the versatility of the breed by their performance in this new market,” he said.

Mr Welsh said each year, more and more Charbray bulls and females were being bought by NSW clients who were geared for the feeder market and appreciated the Charbray female’s constitution and fertility.

“A lot of Charbray clients are people who have made the decision to move beyond the constant change of crossbreeding and are looking to consolidate their breed with the use of Charbray.

“Charbray breeders have done a lot of work developing and stabilising the Charbray breed into a consistent and balanced article.

“I would recommend people come along to Wednesday’s sale to inspect and appreciate the excellent progress breeders have made towards refining Charbrays in recent years.”


Pasture Fed Charbrays - August 2009

Bullseye for pasture-fed Charbrays
by Martin Bunyard

Reliable carcass results have motivated a central Queensland beef producer to revolve his cattle operation around the Charbray breed.

Bruce Mikkelson first started using Charbray bulls almost 10 years ago with his Brahman breeding herd and obtained excellent processor grid results with the progeny. Across Mr Mikkelson’s 640 hectare property called Wiluna near Gin Gin, the family beef business currently runs 380 head of breeding cows with 250 head of the breeding herd being registered Charbrays.

Bruce Mikkelson - Wiluna Chabrays

“We originally had a mainly Brahman-cross herd, but moved towards the Charbray breed once we started getting good results from our Charbray steers, which were fattened on pasture,” Mr Mikkelson said. “I really respect Brahman cattle, but when it came to kill day the Charbray cattle were 50 to 60 kilograms heavier than the Brahman cattle on average.”

As an example, Mr Mikkelson sent 56 grass-fattened Charbray steers direct to a processor and only two head missed the processor’s grid for required fat cover.

On average, the Mikkelson family turn their steers off at 30-months-old with two to four teeth.

“I think it’s important to give the Charbray type cattle enough time to fatten when on pasture because they are very early maturing cattle,” Mr Mikkelson said.

“I feel a producer may think their Charbray cattle are ready to go to the processors a little too early.”

Mr Mikkelson explained that after a visual inspection of his cattle and a decision that it’s time for the processors, he then gives the steers another six weeks on pasture to make sure they have the required fat cover.

Good nutrition is another important factor for the Mikkelson family when fattening their beef bullocks. After weaning all cattle are put on quality pasture to help continue their growth and development.
“It’s important that our young cattle continue to get good nutrition after they have been weaned to ensure future growth and carcass quality,” he said.

Wiluna Chabrays

While the prime market is important to the Mikkelson’s beef operation, their main motivating reason to move towards a Charbray focused herd was due to consistently good results obtained in the store market.
“The store market for Charbray and Charolais infused cattle has been consistently strong with good ongoing demand,” he said.
“Our biggest reason for moving towards Charbray type cattle was due to the solid demand for them in store markets.”

Having obtained good results with their commercial Charbray cattle, the Mikkelson family then decided to start breeding their own Charbray and Charolais bulls.

In 2005 they started Wiluna Charbray and Charolais stud. “At first we started keeping some of our Charbray weaners because we were previously selling all our weaners and trying to buy in Brahman heifers, but, it got to the point that it was too difficult to continually source quality, white Brahman heifers,” Mr Mikkelson said.
“After an inspection by a Charbray Society of Australia classifier we were encouraged to register several of our Charbray cows and it all started from there!”

The Mikkelson family then went on a buying spree of Charbray and Charolais cows.
“We now have about 250 register Charbray and Charolais cows,” he said.

Mr Mikkelson now hopes to continue breeding Charbray cattle for both his personal use and for sale to other beef producers.
“The Charbray breed has performed extremely well for us and I believe the breed will do the same for other beef producers,” he said.

Wiluna Chabrays


Charbray Live Exports - August 2009

Charbrays keep demand in live export markets
by Martin Bunyard

Demand for Charbray cattle in live export markets has remained strong despite the global economic downturn.

In South East Asia and other niche markets, such as Israel, ongoing demand for Charbray cattle has demonstrated their excellent performance in these regions.

According to Australian rural exporter, Austrex, live exports of cattle has increased 17 percent this year to Australia’s largest live cattle importer, Indonesia, with 271,000 head export to the nation up until the end of May this year.

Austrex said the Philippines is also a regular buyer of Charbray breeding heifers due to the performance of progeny in their feedlots and good carcase characteristics.

“The main advantages of the Charbray breed in Asian markets are predominately based around good performance in feedlots resulting in a high yielding carcase with adequate fat cover,” Austrex said.

Indonesia being the largest importer prefers high grade Brahman cattle or a minimum of 70pc Brahman content cattle, due to their high level of heat tolerance, resistance to ticks and good performance in the Indonesian feedlots resulting in a high yielding carcase. An estimated 75pc of cattle imported into Indonesia are destined for feedlots, with a target intake weight of between 280 to 350 kilograms or approximately 320kg live weight. There is also demand in Indonesia for heavier finished cattle that are over 400kg, which are sent direct to slaughter, with this market being better suited to the Charbray breed due to its high yielding carcase.

Other markets such as Israel actually prefer European and European cross cattle, being young bulls (200kg to 300kg live weight) with generally a premium being paid for these cattle in southern Western Australia.

“The majority of Australian cattle destined for the live export feedlot markets are sourced from cattle stations in the Northern Territory and are therefore obviously raised on pasture,” Austrex said.

“Demand for pasture raised and fattened cattle continues to grow with the Indonesian market increasing by 80pc over the last five years.”

Despite the deteriorating global economy the agricultural sector still has a positive outlook. “Demand for beef worldwide is still strong but there continues to be downward pressure on price,” Austrex said.

Export prices dropped 21pc in the March quarter with food and live animal export prices falling by almost 10pc from March to May compared to the same period last year.

While prices for live exports have been negatively affected by the economic downturn, global interest and demand for breeding cattle for both beef and dairy continues to grow from countries such as Russia and China, according to market analysis.

“Considering the global financial crisis, global demand for Australian livestock continues to be strong due to good quality and adaptable Australian livestock, which have one of the best animal health standards in the world,” Austrex said.

“With the ongoing support of the Australian Government the Live Export Trade will continue to be a very valuable industry in Australia.”

Currently, the Live Export Trade is estimated to have a value of $730 million going towards Australia’s export earnings and rural and regional areas.

“Due to the sensitivity of this trade the Australian Live Export Industry is highly proactive in investing in improving animal handling infrastructure in our overseas markets and also in continually investing in new research and development projects and implementing new programs to improve animal handling and animal welfare to ensure a strong and ongoing industry,” Austrex said.

The latest figures show Indonesia continues to be Australia’s largest cattle live export market, importing 650,000 head or 75pc of Australia’s total cattle exported last year. The next largest market is Israel, which continues to be a large importer of Charbray cattle, imported 44,000 head last year.

Live export market analysts expect the Asian market to continue their solid demand for Charbray pasture feed cattle.


Junior Breeder Convinces All - August 2009

Regional Persuasive Speech Competition 11 & 12 year olds
Winner - Meg Welsh Taroom


Meg WelshAre you looking for an excellent breed of cattle that gives you high performance in all areas? Well stop looking right now! Charbrays are the best breed of cattle around town and have been popular for a very long time!

Why Charbray’s you may ask? Well they have a top performance record with increasingly high returns. You can feed them with grain or grass and from this breed of cattle you will still receive an optimum performance, The Charbray’s have an excellent weight gain with an ideal carcase return, this give’s the grazier the option to sell the Charbray at any age .

This predominately creamy coloured beast is at great demand from feedlotters, processors and fat cattle traders which means buyers pay top price! (Chick Ching)

Also, going in the Charbrays favour are their superb characteristics; their majestical stride across the wide open plains, from a distance their muscles look so strong but also maintain that desired softness. Under all grazing conditions their wonderful adaptability has to be admired.

Altogether the Charbrays are a huge success in all of the cattle events, from your local store sales to huge events such as Beef Week, the Brisbane Ekka and many prime cattle competitions. Anywhere any time Charbrays will always perform the best. With such an exceptional performance record they really are a showcase breed.

Hybrid Vigour - this is a term that those in the beef breeding industry generally refer to as a free lunch, it is the extra performance you get from crossing two different breeds of cattle. This has already been inbuilt in the Charbray breed and therefore offering that extra ease of management. So comparing Charbray’s to other breeds, well what can I say, it’s like comparing a Harley to a scooter.

Guess what there’s even more reasons why Charbray’s are the best breed of cattle. The Charbray breed combines with precision, the hardiness and adaptability of the Brahman with the extra growth and muscling of the Charolais. I might take this opportunity to remind you all that in the beef industry you are paid by the kilo and this is where the Charbray breed really does deliver.

So now I hope that you have found out more about this wonderful creature “The Charbray” and have definitely STOPPED LOOKING!


Beef 2009 Wrap - 3 June 2009

Charbray judging attracts large crowds at Beef 2009

by Martin Bunyard

A total of 2000 head of stud cattle from 33 different breeds were judged at Beef Australia 2009.

The diverse ranges of Australia’s tropical and temperate breeds were on show with a Hereford bull and a Brangus cow being awarded the Champion of Champion titles. A record yarding of 2300 head of commercial cattle were judged and sold through the ring at the Gracemere Saleyards, near Rockhampton in central Queensland, with a pen of Simbrah steers awarded Grand Champions.

More than 450 carcases were entered in the National Beef Carcase Competition held during Beef 2009 which were processed at 13 participating abattoirs from four Australian States. Grand Champion Carcase was awarded to a pen of Gelbvieh-cross cattle from Western Australia.

Beef Australia 2009 chairman Geoff Murphy said that the figures showcased what an outstanding contribution the Expo made to the local and national economy.

“Rockhampton truly became the epicentre of Australia’s national beef industry during Beef 2009 with a record breaking crowd of 68,000 people attending, including 461 delegates from 32 different countries,” Mr Murphy said.

A total of 10 different Charbray breeders exhibited 40 head of Charbray cattle during the Beef 2009 Charbray stud cattle judging held on the Tuesday.

Charbray Society president Paul Weir said the large number of spectators present at the Beef 2009 Charbray stud cattle judging reflected the increased interest in the breed from both commercial and stud breeders.

“There is a lot of positivity about Charbrays at present and as a breed it continues to be a serious player in the cattle market,” Mr Weir said.

Present during the Beef 2009 Charbray stud cattle judging was a good display of first cross and generational breed Charbray cattle.

“I’m looking forward to the Charbray Society helping breeders produce a consistent article to ensure the ongoing quality of the Charbray breed,” Mr Weir said.

“It was clear at Beef 2009 that Charbray breeders are taking positive steps in producing consistent lines of Charbray cattle.”

Mr Weir added that the major focus for the Charbray Society in the near future will be the promotion of Charbrays as a “beef profit machine” and a quality pure breed cattle article.

Top honours were awarded to Diamond L Charbrays with their young heifer called Diamond L Elegance winning Champion Female Calf. Also, Diamond L Dream was awarded Junior Champion Female.

John and Roz Mercer, Kandanga Valley, were awarded Champion Male Calf for their young bull calf called Kandanga Valley Dapper.

Robert, Denise, Jayne, and Myles Newcombe, Newcombe’s Charbrays, Goomburra, were very excited to be awarded Grand Champion Male and Senior Champion Male for their 33-month-old generationally bred Charbray bull called Newcombe’s Bodman. The Charbray bull was sired by CHP Vantage, the highest sale priced Charbray bull in Australia at $21,000. Bodman’s dam was Newcombe’s Rachael which is a quality cow from Kandanga Valley bloodlines. Beef 2009 was a very successful event for the Newcombe family who reported that Newcombe’s Bodman sold for $25,000 in a private sale to Roma district breeders Keith and Annabelle Wilson, Samari Plains. As well, the Wilsons reportedly paid $10,000 for Newcombe’s Dawson, a five-month-old polled son of Bodman.

Reserve Senior Champion Male was awarded to Mathew Welsh’s 26-month-old Charbray bull called Huntington Commerce.

Grand Champion Female and Senior Champion Female were awarded to the Clint and Robyn Whitaker’s 31-month-old cow called Whitaker Mischa.

It was the first time at the Beef Australia event with Charbrays for the Whitaker family, Whitaker Charbray Stud, Mundubbera. Their high quality female attracted a lot of positive comments from Charbray stud cattle judge David Bassingthwaighte and associate judge Katherine Trace.

“We only brought two head of our Charbrays and it’s very exciting to have had both of them perform so well here at Beef 2009,” Mr Whitaker said.

The Whitaker family also won Junior Champion Bull with their 21-month-old, 914kg, bull called Whitaker Teddy, who was sired by Kilkenny Z1E.

“As a calf he always stood out in the mob and from weaning it was decided we would aim him at Beef 2009,” Mr Whitaker said.

“Up to and including Beef 2009 Whitaker Teddy won all six cattle shows he attended, which included two Supreme Champion wins at Murgon Show and Bell Show.”

Mr Whitaker also said that semen from Whitaker Teddy is now available to purchase.

Charbray Society president Paul Weir said a big thankyou has to be extended to all the Charbray cattle exhibitors and all other cattle exhibitors at Beef 2009 for all their efforts in showing their quality cattle at the event.


Beef Bonanza - 3 June 2009

Charbrays shine at Beef Bonanza

by Martin Bunyard

The increasing popularity of Charbray cattle in northern New South Wales was on full display in the 2009 Beef Bonanza at Tenterfield.

A quality pen of pasture fed Charbray steers, owned by Damien and Rhonda Jenkins, won the Champion Export Pen trophy and one of those Charbray steers was also awarded the Champion Export Beast of the Show accolade. The Jenkins family were very pleased with their award winning cattle and kindly donated $500 of their prize money to Tenterfield High School to help purchase steers for their agriculture educational program.

The excellent quality Charbrays were purchased and managed by Ray White Rural agent Bruce Birch on behalf of the Jenkins family, while the award winning cattle were originally selected and drafted by Bruce’s father George Birch.

“We sourced the cattle as nine-month-old weaners from Tenterfield saleyards, which were from a property near Roma in south-west Queensland,” Mr Birch said.

“The Jenkins family then purchased the cattle as 24 to 30 month old grower steers and pasture fed them on a property 20 kilometres east of Tenterfield."

“The property has native pastures and the Charbray steers performed extremely well on that type of land.”

The easy doing Charbray cattle had plenty of growth and scale about them, according to Mr Birch.

It was a surprise to many onlookers at the Beef Bonanza competition to see a pen of Charbray cattle perform so well in a region that has traditionally been an Angus and Hereford cattle area.

“To fatten bullocks and get the growth and age requirements, the Charbrays performed extremely well given their natural growth qualities and conformation and were ideal for the Jap Ox market at a young age,” Mr Birch said.

“I believe it can be difficult to grass fatten some of the pure bred British cattle in the region within the same time frame as these Charbray cattle.”

The lead pen of the winning export Charbray cattle weighted in at 680kg per head.

Beef Bonanza cattle judge John Newton, livestock manager, Bindaree Beef, Inverell, said the Charbray cattle were ideal bullocks that they look for in their export trade.

“The Charbray bullocks had adequate fat cover, good carcase yield, and an excellent temperament,” Mr Newton said.

Mr Birch added that the Jenkins Charbray cattle would have performed very well on either grain or grass.

“It appears some breeders are only focused on producing cattle that only perform on grain and that makes it extremely difficult to fatten those cattle on grass,” he said.

“As an agent and cattle producer I feel that breeders need to balance the genetic qualities of their cattle to ensure they are not too late maturing types to fatten on grass.

“If you can get the seasons and cattle to perform on pasture then it’s far more economical, but you need to select cattle that can be fattened on either grain or grass.”

It appears many cattle producers west of Tenterfield as starting to favour cattle with some Bos Indus content.

“People are starting to see that the country west of Tenterfield, which is a little harder, is best suited to Charbray type cattle,” Mr Birch said.

“If you yard a good pen of Charbray cattle at Tenterfield saleyards you will general receive a price premium.”


Beef 2009 - 21 May 2009

Diversity – the big Advantage of Charbrays

by Queensland County Life

Highly-regarded beef producer David Bassingthwaighte, Kiah, Taroom always enjoys accessing a good line of cattle and felt the Charbray entries at Rockhampton's Beef 09 were impressive in terms of overall quality.

"I was also impressed with the amount of muscle on display in the Charbray arena and particularly the softer muscle pattern generally throughout the male classes," said Mr Bassingthwaighte.

"This gives the Charbray breed more diversity in terms of their ability to finish off grass or in a feedlot situation," he said.

Mr Bassingthwaighte also agrees with the view of the current council to promote generational-bred Charbrays which will consistently breed true to type and therefore produce a more consistent drop of calves. "This is the direction we are taking with our own Charbray operation and we believe the genetic strength of today's Charbray is the way forward," he said.

Another advantage of Charbrays is their diversity - their ability to perform on harsher country or their excellent weight-for-age on better country.

Mr Basingthwaighte said it was a pleasure to judge Charbrays at Beef 09 and reckoned there were plenty of positives coming out of Beef 09 especially among fellow Charbray breeders.


Generational Breeding - 23 April 2009

Generational breeding the key to consistency

by Katie Lloyd

As Charbrays continue to gain momentum as a high performing breed, the need to highlight the benefits of generational breeding has come into play. All Charbray breeders would agree there is nothing like a first cross. As current councillor Jill Olman says, “they are an impressive animal; a beautiful cross and cattlemen are naturally attracted to the qualities they have; particularly the hybrid vigour,” she said. “But, on the flip side, we need to educate and encourage those using these bulls to venture further down the breeding line.”

Generational breeding in the long term has many benefits and while these may take a short while to come through, there is proof that there are excellent results at the other end. “Generational breeding puts you in touch with consistency; you will get a sound more even line of cattle in the long run. The first cross is always impressive but you never know exactly what calves you’re going to get; they could be red, cream or brindle,” Jill said. “Continuing to use generational bred bulls means that what you see is ultimately what you will get.”

Consistency was the driving force behind John Mercer’s shift into generational breeding. As a long time Charbray breeder, John, who with his wife Roz run Kandanga Valley, were determined to find the long term key to preserving and capitalising on the qualities of first cross Charbray cattle.

“As a breed I think the biggest problem we have is that the Charolais and Brahman cross works beautifully; it produces a marvellous animal and obviously it’s hard to hang onto those traits once achieved. I have been selling Charbray bulls for around 25 years and the biggest question I am asked from my clients is, what next? They have bred first cross Charbray females and they don’t know what to do with them and this is where problems arise,” he said.

While John said that many breeders like the qualities of the Charbray animal they are not sure how to compliment and maintain it and start delving into cross breeding. “That first cross animal is beautiful but the problem we have experienced is that these first cross cattle are not reproducing themselves. This is where I say to those people who have tried a first cross Charbray bull, never be disappointed with how they perform. Don’t say Charbrays didn’t work, instead ask yourself, did you buy the right bull?” he said.

According to John, the most consistent Charbrays are those by generational bred cattle. “The key is to continue further down the path, past that first cross. By putting a strong generational bred bull over a first cross you may initially get a few surprises but the thing that you have to do is persevere and continue. The results will certainly become clear.”

Jill Olman has five plus generations of breeding underway and has always supported the concept. “I have always bought bulls by Charbrays out of Charbrays and I believe you get what you pay for doing it that way,” she said. “Although on saying that I most certainly believe there is a place for those first cross bulls in the beef industry, particularly for a commercial operation. Although those looking for the long term benefits from the Charbray breed really need to go down the path of buying Charbrays out of Charbrays; it’s a sure way to get an even, consistent line,” she said.

The Charbray Society will continue to promote and encourage generational breeding and is largely why the newly introduced breeding plan was devised. Councillor Warren Smith, who assisted in the development of the plan, said earlier that breeders’ biggest concern about generational breeding was the risk of jeopardising hybrid vigour. “This is by far the biggest concern to breeders; the belief is that if you use Charbrays over Charbrays you will lose that vigour. I think this myth has been debunked to some extent but it will still take some time to reassure people. I honestly believe that if the genetics are right you will get around this – second and third generation cattle are just as likely to deliver the same result,” he said.


Charbray Meats - 9 April 2009

Charbray Meats offers local home grown beef

by Kate Tickle

A decision to vertically integrate seventeen-years-ago has enabled beef producer and butcher Garry Dann to offer the public a taste of his home grown Charbray beef.
The idea to incorporate more links of the beef industry supply chain, an abattoir and butcher store, into Garry and his wife Barbara’s cattle operation, stemmed from their Charbray breeding program located on Amburla Station, north west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
Garry, who is now 65 years-of-age, has been involved in the beef and meat industry since he was just twelve-years-old. With such depth of experience in a wide range of industry associated fields, opening a butcher stop seemed a natural progression for this beef producer.
However, a strong breeding program was developed and years of work were put into the Amburla herd, long before the decision to open the butcher store was made. The 2500 square kilometre property was purchased 27 years ago, and was recently sold. Aileron Station, also owned by the Dann family, is a 4000 square kilometre block, 130 kilometres from Alice Springs. Amburla served as the principal breeding property for the Dann family, who initially ran an all Brahman breeder herd.
Since establishing their herd there has been an increase in the commercial cattle’s eye muscle area and weight for age statistics. Their cattle have had great success in carcass competitions at the Alice Springs Show, often defeating straight British bred and Bos Indicus cattle.
Top quality bloodlines were sourced from “Temana”, which is owned by the Griffin family in South Australia. The use of this high standard of genetics in their herd has contributed to the Dann family producing a top quality red meat product.
“My idea of a perfect animal is the cross of a top Charbray cow with a top Brahman bull,” Garry said.
“From my experience as a cattle breeder, slaughter man, and butcher, this combination can produce great results on the hoof and the hook. The Charbray cattle deliver do-ability, muscling, growth-for-age and adequate marbling.”
The family’s butcher shop called Charbray Meats is located in the Yeperenye Complex in Alice Springs. While this is not the first time Garry has owned or managed a butcher store, the positioning of Charbray Meats brings a new concept to the business, strategically located in a shopping centre environment.
Charbray Meats serves as the primary market for the cattle turned off at Aileron, with any excess sold through the live export market. The store has a throughput of around fifteen carcasses a week, which are naturally grassfed. When seasons allow for the animals to be grass finished the supply to the shop is primarily from Aileron property. In dry times cattle are sourced elsewhere, from districts that have experienced good seasonal conditions around the Northern Territory and South Australia border regions.
The product targeted for Charbray Meats is basically organic by default, Garry said.
The use of drenches is unnecessary in the low rainfall areas, as the dry environment provides a habitat far from ideal for the existence of parasites. There is no use of Hormonal Growth Promotants.
Cattle are suitability selected by eye when their time comes to be sent to the abattoir, which Garry leases north of Alice Springs. These animals can range in age from 10 to 24 months, and are chosen accordingly as the season progresses. The dressed weight ranges from 120-220kg, with an optimum fat cover of 7mm to 10mm.
The beef sold in Charbray Meats is targeted to the domestic consumer as well as hotels and restaurants. The shop also caters for community groups, which requires bulk orders to be sent out to remote Aboriginal communities. The tourist trade is also an important market, with many visitors keen to try the natural product. Also on offer in the store is fish, which is sourced fresh from Darwin, some 1500 kilometers away, as well as camel meat, which is sourced locally.
Garry is a strong believer in supporting their “Territory”, so tries to source products locally. He also provides employment for some eleven staff, with five in the abattoir and six in the butcher store.
Gary Charnock is the manager of Charbray Meats, and has been on the job for the past five months, after Mr Dann specifically sourced him from England.
Mr Charnock has been a butcher for over ten years, and has brought some British influence to the business, introducing some new concepts and new tastes. Value adding their product plays an important part of the business, with a wide array of flavours and influences on offer to the public.
Some of the value added product includes beef jerky, which is created the natural way, rather than dried out with chemical processes like the standard jerky. This South African technique involves cuts such as silverside being marinated, seasoned and dried out with fans. Named “biltong”, this product contains no chemicals and no preservatives.
Charbray Meats also makes its own burger patties, including flavours such as steak and onion, pork and apple, lamb and mint, and chilli. Cooked meats including hams, roast beef and roast camel are also available.
Some of Gary’s creations have been new to Australians, such as pinwheels. These are minced beef wrapped in puff pastry and seasoned, ready to be easily cooked off in the oven, providing a quick beef meal.
“The business is continually looking at new opportunities, branching out into other lines and introducing new products,” Mr Charnock said.
“Trade is increasing each week, and Charbray Meats will continue to aim to please the consumer by offering products that are natural and new, as well as building on the consumer perception of Charbray beef by providing a quality controlled, natural, home grown Charbray beef product.”


Purebred Charbray’s - 12 March 2009

Breaking the Mould – Purebred Charbray’s

by Queensland Country Life

Former Charbray Society president and current board member Ken Rutherford, Redbank, Morinish via Rockhampton has always been a powerful breed advocate.

Mr Rutherford is passionate about changing the breed's "crossbred tag" within the marketplace and wants to change the way beef producers view Charbrays.

"For too long Charbrays have carried the crossbred tag and we want to get the message out there that our breeding direction has changed," said Mr Rutherford.

"Basically, our breeding direction has changed for the better and we are looking to value-add the fourth and fifth generational-bred Charbrays," he said.

We're about changing Charbray's perception within the marketplace and promote a more dependable breed," Mr Rutherford said.

He said buyers have more confidence in a stable breed which breeds true to type and on that basis Charbray's have a bright future with plenty more market share to capture.

"Beef producers often comment about the lack of fat cover on crossbred cattle, but the modern-day Charbray will deliver that fat coverage which is highly commercially acceptable," said Mr Rutherford.

Ken and his wife Debbie under the Redskin prefix run 50 registered cows in a single sire herd which is closely aligned to their commercial Charbray operation which incorporates 180 breeders.


Charbray Genetics Editorial - 11 March 2009

Charbray Genetics Prove Valuable Addition To Stud Stock

by Martin Bunyard

Breeding quality Charbray genetics is proving very beneficial for Brahman stud stock producers in western Queensland.
Three well know cattle studs, Hazelton Brahman Stud, Jileaba Brahman Stud, and Elrose Brahman Stud have all incorporated the use of Charolais bulls over their Brahman cows to produce Charbrays.

All three studs said the breeding of Charbray bulls provided a “complementary niche market” to their pre-existing Brahman genetics.
Hazelton Brahman Stud owner Brett Kirk, Blackwood, Middlemount, started using Charolais genetics when the first semen came into the country from France.
Mr Kirk’s father was one of the founding members of the Brahman breed in Australia.
“We did a big artificial insemination program using Charolais semen over Brahman cows,” he said.

The Kirk family have EU accredited their Charbray females which has added more value to their culled heifers.
“The Charbray heifers that we don’t keep can be fattened and sent to the meatworks as EU accredited cattle,” he said.
“For two-year-old Charbray females over 240kg dressed weight, the meatworks pays a premium.
“There is a strong market for Charbray cattle with clean coats, good adaptability and a high meat yielding carcass.”

Jileaba Brahman Stud owner Reade Radel, Yebna, Injune, has been breeding Brahmans for more than forty years with his father first selling bulls at Brahman week back in 1969.
“We’ve been cross breeding our Brahman cattle since the early 1980s with European and British breeds, but settled with the Charbray because they are more accepted in the market place,” Mr Radel said.
The Radel family first started using Charolais genetics in 2001 with the motivation coming from their private clients expressing interest in Charbrays.
“We felt that breeding Charbrays opened up a niche market and enabled us to expand our stud operation,” he said.

Majority of demand for Charbray cattle has come from North Queensland, Northern Territory, and the Kimberley region in Western Australia with most Charbray bulls going into high grade Brahman herds.

Elrose Brahman Stud owner Roger Jefferis , Cloncurry, started breeding Charbrays about 15 years ago.
“There was a growing demand for Charbray cattle and we’d been asked by a number of our clients if we would consider breeding Charbrays,” Mr Jefferis said.
“I was hesitant to breed them at first until I knew we could do it correctly.”
Mr Jefferis added that previous experience in carcass competitions had taught him the importance of using quality genetics when cross breeding cattle.
“The Charbray cattle are very beneficial to our cattle operation with both the Brahman and Charbray cattle catering to different types of markets,” he said.
“We don’t see Charbrays as competition to our Brahmans; they are more of a complementary addition to our Brahman stud.”


Generation Breeding Editorial - 12 February 2009

The Advantages of Generation Breeding

by Queensland Country Life

The art of building a consistent line of cattle has been a task even the experienced cattleman must focus on to achieve favourable results.

Selecting for various traits in cattle behind others in a breeding operations market plan is paramount to achieve the financial success at the end of the day.

Jambin cattleman, Les Marshall who also operates “Greenfield’s Charbray Stud” with his wife Anne, believes the process of generation breeding is paramount to achieve this consistence in your herd and stabilise the type of animal your are producing.

“Whether producing an animal for a specific market or stud or herd bulls for cattlemen, generation breeding is at the centre of our breeding plan as it stabilises your herd, breeding true to type through the depth of pedigree bloodlines that are available”.

“With the use of first cross or F1 sires the producer is often left with higher risk of not being able to produce a consistent line due to the outcomes have a fifty/ fifty chance of throwing one way, or too mush variety in genetic contents as a result”.

“To simplify the breeding programme for cattlemen the generation bred bull will have a lot better ability to produce cattle that suit the market you are targeting without sacrificing traits such as softness, fertility and growth”.

Charbray cattle have been succeeding in many markets for a long while now but to continue on this success with greater confidence the pedigrees of the Charbray are a lot more established nowadays and are now available to the producer by selecting the generation bred bulls over F1s.

“Using generation bred bulls we are meeting market demands with more reliability producing better quality line of cattle with good depth of breeding”.

Greenfield’s Charbray stud has been operating since the first availability of Charolais semen was introduced to Australia back in 1969. From this long history of genetics the Charbray breed is well established at the Marshall’s property which Les believes is “the key to consistency in our cattle”.


Changing Focus Editorial - 2 February 2009

The plan for a pure article

by Katie Lloyd

For a long time Charbray cattle have carried the crossbred tag and it is a perception that has frustrated many long term breeders. Over the past 18 months the current members of the Charbray Society have been discussing and devising a new breeding plan in a bid to eliminate this misconception and further promote a purebred herd.

Current councillor and Charbray breeder, Warren Smith has been an advocate for the move and responsible for devising the upgrade plan. “The belief that Charbray cattle are a crossbred has always annoyed me. The Charbray breed has been in Australia for 35 to 40 years and the genetic base is now in a position to command its own recognition,” he said. “Charbrays are not a new breed; in fact, the breed has one of the oldest continuous herd books in the United States.”

The move to upgrade the breeding plan has been in the pipeline for the past 18 months and Warren is confident it will assist with the marketing and presentation of the breed as a whole. “There are quite a few breeders out there who adopted this practice well before the society and they are now selling fourth and fifth generation cattle successfully. A lot of smaller studs who are restricted by land size and dollars, and have not been able to run two separate herds, have also focused on generational breeding,” he said. ”In the past we didn’t have the genetic base to adopt this practice however we’re now in a position to use the generational cattle to deliver a consistent and quality animal,” he said.

According to Warren, one of the biggest resistances to generational breeding is the risk of jeopardising hybrid vigour. “This is by far the biggest concern to breeders; the belief is that if you use Charbrays over Charbrays you will lose that vigour. I think this myth has been debunked to some extent but it will still take some time to reassure people. I honestly believe that if the genetics are right you will get around this – second and third generation cattle are just as likely to deliver the same result,” he said.

Warren does not believe you lose anything by using Charbray bulls over Charbray females as long as you select sires depending on the specific traits you want in your herd. “You have to be particular about what it is you want and find the bull that will meet those objectives,” he said.

The new plan will come into being on 1 March 2009. Cattle will be classified into five different categories.
C1 – Progeny of any Registered Charbray, Charolais or Brahman Bull
C2 – Progeny of C1 mated to any Registered Charbray, Charolais or Brahman Bull
C3 – Progeny of C2 mated to any Registered Charbray, Charolais or Brahman Bull
C4 – Progeny of C3 mated to a Registered Charolais or Brahman Bull (Content – Max. 75%)
C5 – Progeny of C3 or C4 mated to a Registered Charbray Bull ONLY (Content – Max. 75%)

Warren says that this plan ensures buyers can select cattle with confidence knowing exactly what they are getting. “We hope this plan creates demand from within our breed but also from outsiders who may buy generation bred Charbray bulls for use within their commercial herds,” he said. “This has certainly been a big development, and while there are still a few who have their doubts, I am confident that through generational breeding we can produce a top quality article while promoting a pure breed, and this is essential when pushing our great breed forward.”


Beef Outlook 2009 Editorial - 2 February 2009

Australian beef exports expected to rise


Export demand for Australian beef is predicted to increase in 2009, according to projections released by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), despite uncertainty created by the unstable global economic environment.

MLA forecasts that Australian exports of beef and veal will reach 990,000 tonnes in 2009, a three percent increase on 957,500 tonnes in 2008. The lower Australian dollar will mean that Australia’s beef exports in 2009 will shift towards countries whose currencies have appreciated most against our local dollar.

Exports to the United States are expected to increase by a substantial 38pc during the year, with continued strong demand for manufacturing beef.

The biggest importer of Australian beef, Japan, is forecast to increase imports of our beef by 3pc on 2008’s total figures. Conversely, exports to Korea, the third largest importer of Australian beef in 2008, are forecast to fall by 17pc, with the return of US beef to Korea, and slowing consumer spending. Trade with Russia is likely to take some months to return, with exports decreasing substantially from 2008, as a result of the country’s credit difficulties.

While the live cattle export sector is experiencing expansion of its principal markets, the number of head exported in 2009 is forecast to drop by 6.6pc to 780,000.

Operations manager of Roma saleyards in south-west Queensland, Terry Hyland, expects lower numbers of cattle after the major store cattle selling centre processed a record 409,000 head of cattle in 2008.

“There has been a big turn off of cattle from the Northern Territory and north-west Queensland, and there’ll be thousands of cattle we won’t see this year while herds are rebuilt,” Mr Hyland said.

“However the great start to the season will definitely work to our advantage and the lack of numbers from the north may add more value to our local cattle.”

Queensland Country Life’s market analyst, Stan Wallace, has mixed feelings about the outlook of the Australian beef industry over the next six months.

“After one of the worst droughts, we’re having the best start to the season we’ve seen for years,” Mr Wallace said.

“Although I feel the global meltdown will take its toll on our export markets, the break in the local season will create competition for store cattle and allow producers with prime cattle more time to put weight on them.”

The feedlot sector is experiencing growth, with an increase in the numbers on feed from 662,689 head to 719,379 head, up 59pc during the December quarter of 2008.

Australian Lot Feeders Association president, Jim Cudmore, attributes this increase in numbers to “the decline in the Australian dollar, plus changes in feeder cattle and grain prices”.

The seedstock sector also looks promising in 2009, with livestock agent, Noel Grant, Grant Daniel Long, expecting an increase in herd rebuilding in northern Queensland.

“The lack of presence of volume buyers was definitely felt at bull sales in 2008, but I feel there’ll be a bigger enquiry into seed stock this year,” Mr Grant said.

“More replacement stock will be sourced while herds are being rebuilt.”


Charbray Admin Editorial - 30 January 2009

Do your homework when purchasing your Registered Charbray Seed Stock.

by the Charbray Society Administration Staff

The Charbray Society of Australia provide on their website, a database of all registered animals.

To search for animals on the Database please follow these steps:-

Enter the website –
Click on Animal & Member Enquiries (on the left hand side of the home page)
Click on Search the Charbray Breed Database

This screen will allow you to search for details, pedigrees, status, etc on animals within the entire Charbray Database. If you only know part of the name there are special keys to use to help.

Click on Animal Enquiry -
GO TO - Animal Name – enter, for example - Greenfields Goran – if you are unsure how it is spelt type in Greenfields G% and hit the search button - This will display all Greenfields animals which begin with the letter G or if your not sure of its name you can enter the Prefix of the herd followed by the % symbol, for example - Greenfields% and this will bring up the entire Greenfields herd .

Spelling must always be correct otherwise it will not display. That is why the use of the % key is used as a wildcard to help.

Once you have the animal you are looking for – click on its name and it will display the pedigree, the status (eg. Active, Inactive) who owns the animal, etc, etc. You can continue looking back at the pedigrees by clicking on the sires and dams in the pedigree .

Note of Caution – If you are intending to register future progeny of the seed stock you are purchasing, always check the animal is listed as Active which means the registration is still current and available to be transferred as registered at point of sale. If you purchase an animal that is inactive or not on the database at point of sale, you will not be able to register future progeny without proving the animals pedigree history.

A little research can save a lot of headaches!!!


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