Charbray Association Australia


Buyers chase Gracemere Charbrays - July 2012

Buyers chase Gracemere Charbrays

FLICK through any Gracemere Store Sale report and you are likely to see Simon and Nelle Stevenson’s name appear in the listings of top sales.

Stevenson’s Charbray weaners.
A mob of the Stevenson’s Charbray weaners that have consistently been topping Gracemere Store Sales.

The Baralaba based couple run 1100 Brahman cows on their 4250ha property, Villamosa, 120km southwest of Rockhampton, joining the cows to Charbray, Charolais and Simmental bulls.

Targeting the local weaner market, the Stevenson’s aim to sell their steer and cull heifer progeny between 240 and 280kg.

The weaners are sold through paddock sales or the Gracemere Saleyards where the Stevenson’s have consistently been singled out for achieving top prices with their Charbrays.

Some of their recent sales through Gracemere have included:

  • June, 2012. Charbray cross weaner steers sold to 227c/kg, weighing 210kg, to return $477/head
  • May, 2012. Charbray cross weaner steers sold to 213c/kg, weighing 218kg, to return $466/head
  • April, 2012. Charbray cross weaner steers sold to 231c/kg, weighing 258kg to return $598/head.
  • April, 2012. Charbray cross heifers sold to 204c/kg, weighing 250kg to return $510/head
  • January, 2012. Charbray weaner steers sold to 245c/kg, weighing 266c/kg to return $652/head

The Stevenson’s began using Charbray and Charolais bulls in their Brahman based herd nearly twenty years ago and have been very impressed with the results.

“We like the uniformity that we get with the Charbrays along with their excellent weight gains and temperament,” Mr Stevenson said.

“We get a lot of repeat buyers for our Charbray weaners through Gracemere – the buyers just seem to keep coming back for them.”

The Stevenson family seasonally mate, joining the bulls to their herd from October to through to April.

Bulls are sourced locally, mainly through paddock sales, and some are bred on-farm.

Mr Stevenson said he looks for a specific type when selecting sires for his herd.

“We mainly look for good length, short pizzle, a good hindquarter, short coat and temperament,” he said.

“I also look for bulls that aren’t too thick in the shoulders.”

“We only started seasonally breeding two years ago so that we could better monitor fertility in our herd and although we don’t have any hard figures to back it up, we are pleased with our current fertility rates.”

Situated in a 700mm (28 inch) rainfall region, the Stevenson’s property, Villamosa, features a handy mixture of open forest and river flats.

Mr Stevenson said some Charbray heifers are retained in the breeding herd and he has been very pleased with their ability to handle conditions on Villamosa.

“We dip at branding and weaning to help control ticks but any Charbray heifers that we have retained as breeders have handled the climatic conditions just as well as our Brahman breeders,” he said.

“We do supplement our breeders with molasses/urea roller lickers as the season dictates.”

“We are currently enjoying a pretty good season and were very happy to receive two falls of 20mm and 40mm respectively after a fairly dry summer.”


Diamond Dove shines at Beef 2012 - May 2012

Diamond Dove shines at Beef 2012

MONTO beef producers, Bill and Julie Lewis and daughter Carlyn, say winning the Grand Champion Charbray bull at Beef 2012 has been the pinnacle of their short but highly successful showing career. The Diamond Dove Charbray Stud was formed in 2008 and the Lewis family hit the show circuit for the first time last year.

They've already notched up some impressive show results including winning Senior Champion and Grand Champion Bull at Beef 2012 with Diamond Dove Elton and Reserve Calf Champion Male with Elton's half brother, Diamond Dove Grandeur, also at Beef 2012. Elton also recorded impressive wins at the 2012 Cooyar, Proston, Murgon, Goomeri, Nanango, Gympie, Biggenden, Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Toogoolawah Shows.

Mr Lewis said Elton was sired by Bremelty Cool Calm and Collected – a bull he purchased from a sale at Tamworth four years ago.

"I first saw that bull at the Ekka and then I bought him out of the Tamworth sale because he just really appealed to me," he said.

"He has the bone and the fleshing and I just got a good gut feeling about him."

"He's been doing some very good work in our herd and we're delighted with the success of Elton over the past 12 months."

Stud principal, Bill Lewis, said the idea to form the Diamond Dove Stud initially came directly from his daughter, Carlyn.

"She was definitely the instigator for the stud," he said.

"We had these very good Charbray cows and she got the idea that we should utilise them a little better and start a stud," he said.

"We don't want to become the biggest Charbray stud around – our aim is just to breed some very good quality bulls rather than a large quantity of them."

"We are first and foremost a commercial operation but we are enjoying operating this stud as a sideline to our commercial business."

The Lewis family run around 620 stud and commercial Charbray breeders on three properties in central Queensland.

These include the home block, the 2106ha Fairview, northwest of Monto and the 1620ha Logans, near Wowan.

The Lewis family have also recently purchased another 890ha property, Ellewar, also northwest of Monto.

The family aim to finish all steers and cull heifers for the Jap market, turning their steers off scrub country to Teys Biloela by 36-months of age.

The steers consistently dress between 345 and 365kg while their cull heifers dress at 220-240kgs.

The family originally ran a Brahman based herd but began to cross breed with various European breeds in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Lewis said it wasn't until they used a Charolais bull that they began to understand the potential of the Charbray breed.

"The results of the Charolais Brahman cross far exceeded our expectations for type, temperament and doing ability," he said.

"This prompted us to start generation Charbray breeding in our herd."

"Some of our foundation sires were purchased from the Huntington, Averlais, Ayr, Branchview and Bunyavale Studs."

The Lewis family has now been generation breeding Charbrays since 2002, culling heavily for temperament and type.

Mr Lewis said this strong focus on breeder selection has been the foundation of their Charbray herd.

"First and foremost we look for temperament in our herd and if they don't have a good temperament then they don't stay no matter how good they are," he said.

"We also look for bone, length, a good head and fleshing in our females."

Mr Lewis is now looking forward to taking his first bull to the National Charbray Sale in 2012.

"I was hoping to have a few more bulls for sale this year but as we have purchased another property we now need to use those bulls ourselves," he said.

"We're hoping next year to have a few more to sell but our aim has never been to sell large numbers of stud bulls."


Classroom on the Show circuit - March 2012

Classroom on the Show Circuit

A young and energetic agricultural science teacher has breathed new life into the Biloela State High School’s (BSHS) agriculture program by introducing students to the joys of the show circuit.

Biloela State High School - Charbrays.

Stacy Condell joined the BSHS staff as a graduate teacher in 2011 and, in just 12 months, has re-launched the school’s Charbray Stud and inspired a growing number of agricultural science students to join the school’s show team.

“When I started at the school there weren’t any cattle so we borrowed a Charbray bull, a Charbray heifer and a Charolais heifer from local grazier, Mark Gooding,” she said.

“That year the show team included around six students and we visited four local shows and the kids were remarkably successfully in competitions such as junior judging and junior parading.”

“Their success seemed to spark a bit of interest back at school and by the end of the year I had a list of kids wanting to be part of the show team in 2012.”

With growing interest from the students, Miss Condell moved to purchase the school’s own registered Charbray stock.

“We purchased two steers from the Zeimer family and two Charbray heifers and two Charolais heifers from the Huntington Stud at Taroom,” she said.

“The females are all registered and we hope to join them to a Charbray bull this year and start breeding our own Charbray cattle.”

“The steers will be sold when they are finished and the proceeds will be invested back into the cattle program.”

“We really wanted to stick with the Charbray’s because they did so well for us on the show circuit last year. They were extremely competitive against some of the popular breeds around here such as the Droughties and the Brahmans.”

“Because we are a school we also need to be extremely careful about temperament and the Charbray’s have proved to be very docile and easy for the students to handle.”

“We have also been very impressed with the weight gains we’ve seen in our steers. They are fed good quality hay as well as a grain ration and they’ve been consistently achieving their 2kg/day over summer.”

Biloela State High School - Charbrays.

Miss Condell has around ten students participating in the school show team in 2012. The team will visit the Callide Valley, Mt Larcom, Monto and Ridgelands Shows, as well as Beef 2012. Show team captain Alysse Abell said it was particularly exciting to be attending an event as big as Beef.

“That will be awesome – we get to camp out and it will be good for everyone to see what we have been doing with the cattle at school,” she said.

“I live on a cattle property but I hadn’t shown cattle before I started with school and I’m really loving it.”

“We all really enjoy getting them ready to show and looking after them.”

“I definitely plan on working with cattle when I leave school.”

Many of the agricultural students at BSHS are aiming to complete a Certificate II in Rural Operations – a nationally recognised qualification. Miss Condell said it was rewarding to see so many of the students inspired by the cattle program.

“Some of them would spend time before school, after school and every break in between with the cattle if I let them,” she said.

“They are really enjoying the whole experience and getting a lot out of it.”

“It all wouldn’t be possible without the support of our principal, John Adie, the P&C and Head of the Department, Tania Roach.”

“We are also greatly indebted to Mark Gooding who helped us get back on our feet by lending the use of his Charbray stock.”

Biloela State High School - Charbrays.


Buyer inquiry points to growth - January 2012

Quick facts – Major Sale Results

• 2011 National Charbray Bull and Female Sale. September 21. 64 bulls av $4211. Top $9500
• Huntington Charbray Bull Sale. September 30. 82 bulls av $4200. Top $11,000
• Huntington Charbray Winton Sale. May 10. 40 bulls av $3500. Top $6500.
• Nobbs Family Moura Sale. Charbray bulls av $4053. Top $6000.
• Kandanga Valley Charbrays. July 23. 33 Charbray bulls av $4970. Top $9000.

Buyer inquiry points to growth
By Penelope Arthur

With another successful bull selling season all but over, many Charbray breeders are taking time to reflect on the 2011 sale results.

Inside - Bull Selling Season
Bull Selling Season

Charbray Society of Australia President Matt Welsh said many breeders reported strong buyer inquiry leading up to sales, a fact he believes points to a bright future for Charbray seedstock producers.

“The general feeling among the stud breeders is that sales have been very positive this year despite the fact that, in some cases, the sale result didn’t quite match the inquiry the vendors received prior to the sale,” he said.

“I know in my own situation with the Huntington Charbray Sale, we had very strong interest from buyers prior to the sale which didn’t eventuate into as many sales as we thought it would on the day.”

“However, that interest is very encouraging – sometimes it just takes a little longer to evolve into more sales.”

Mr Welsh congratulated the vendors of the 2011 National Charbray Bull and Female Sale at Gracemere in September where 64 bulls sold for an average of $4211 and a top price of $9500.

He believes a growing number of Charbray bull buyers have come to recognize the power of using Charbray bulls, year in, year out.

“People are starting to see that with the consistency the Charbray breed is gaining, they can use Charbray bulls in their breeding program year in, year out, rather than just buying one or two bulls every few years,” he said.

“Charbray seedstock producers just need to keep putting those quality bulls under their noses, like they did at the National Sale, and continue developing and promoting the breed.”

Les and Anne Marshall from the Greenfields Charbray Stud at Jambin were delighted to sell the top price bull at the National Charbray Sale in September for $9500.

The Marshall’s offered and sold a total of 11 bulls at the sale for an average of $4250.

“We were happy with our sale result and how our bulls sold on the day.” Mr Marshall said.

The Marshall’s sold the top price bull to fellow breeders, Roz and John Mercer of the Kandanga Valley Charbray Stud who hosted their own on-property bull sale in July.

The Mercer’s were also pleased with their own sale result, selling 33 Charbray bulls to $9000 and an average of $4970 - up a massive $1220 on last year.

Mr Mercer said it was the second highest average price received for Charbray’s at a Kandanga Valley on-property sale.

“We had very good inquiry prior to the sale, the most ever in fact, and it did come to fruition for us,” he said.

“We were very happy with the sale result.”

“Our clients seem to be very keen on the generation bred cattle however they do still need to be as good a type as the F1 bulls, even though they do look slightly different in appearance.”

In addition to their annual Spring bull sale at Taroom, the Welsh family have hosted a Huntington sale at Winton in Autumn for the past four years.

Mr Welsh said the Winton Sale was held in May this year and saw 40 bulls average $3500.

“We are starting to get a good following of clients out there and it’s great to see our bulls going into districts such as the north west,” he said.

“The biggest advantage of that sale is being able to put a bigger spread on our genetics.”


Campdraft concept pays for Newcombes - January 2012

Campdraft concept pays for Newcombes
By Penelope Arthur

The Newcombe family admit they were taking a gamble when they decided to host a helmsman auction for eight bulls at the Warwick Gold Cup Campdraft this year.

The family were looking for an innovative approach to bull marketing and wanted to help promote their stud and the Charbray breed to a wider audience of cattlemen.

The Newcombe family from Newcombe Charbrays
The Newcombe family from Newcombe Charbrays believe hosting a helmsman auction at the Warwick Gold Cup Campdraft helped promote their operation and the Charbray breed to a wider audience.

Rob, Denise, Jayne and Myles Newcombe hosted a 32 by 30m site at the Warwick Campdraft and welcomed competitors and spectators to come through and view the twenty-two head of Charbray cattle on display.

They also held a helmsman auction of eight bulls over the week, achieving an average of $3875 and a top price of $5000 with 100pc clearance.

Rob Newcombe said they were pleased with the sale result but delighted by the response of beef producers coming through the site.

“We would have had 1000 people come through the site over the week and most wanted to chat about the cattle on display so it was fairly hectic,” he said.

“We were blown away by the genuine interest they showed in the cattle and the questions they asked.”

“It definitely generated more sales for us – we have one fellow from Victoria who wants to buy five bulls in March and many others who indicated they would be back to buy bulls next year.”

A keen family of campdrafters, the Newcombe family hit upon the idea of hosting a helmsman auction at the Warwick draft after deciding to sponsor the Champion of Champions Campdraft. They extended this theme by displaying the “Champion Charbray bull of Australia”, Newcombe’s Bodman, as well as his previous two and post two generations.

“Having been involved in a lot of drafts we knew that there is often periods in between runs when you are looking for something to do,” Mr Newcombe said.

“We also knew that there would be a lot of cattlemen and cattlewomen at the draft so we thought it would be a good opportunity to capture their attention.”

The Newcombe’s started the sale bulls at $3000 and set a minimum bid limit at $500.

“Some of the bulls might have made more money at a traditional sale but I think what we sacrificed in average price we made up for in promotion,” Mr Newcombe said.

“We also had for private offer, five bulls from our show team and out of them we sold an eight-month-old bull calf for $6000.”

Mr Newcombe said one of the most heartening results of the experience, was the discussion generated about generation bred Charbrays among the visitors to the site.

“On one side of the site we had generation bred cattle and on the other side we had mainly F1s,” he said.

“It really highlighted to people the change and improvement you could achieve by using generation bred Charbrays.”

“As members of the Charbray Society we are trying to push the message about generation bred cattle – this seemed to be a perfect forum for us to do it.”

“We’ll be taking bulls to the National Sale next year and we are also planning to be the major sponsor of the Champion of Champions Campdraft where we will hold another helmsman seedstock sale.”

Charbray Society of Australia President Matt Welsh congratulated the Newcombe family on their success with the helmsman auction.

“This was a very innovative idea that obviously found the right setting at the Warwick Gold Cup,” he said. “I congratulate the Newcombes on their success and their willingness to try something new.”


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