Fresh approach pays for Far North weaners

Far North weaners made $1000 online

High Country Pastoral's Cameron Burtenshaw, with his children Logan and Taylor.

High Country Pastoral's Cameron Burtenshaw, with his children Logan and Taylor.


Far North weaners attract attention from afar thanks to a dedicated finishing and marketing plan.


A decision to supplement a line of weaners on silage ahead of their offering on  AuctionsPlus last Friday has paid dividends for Mount Surprise beef producer, Cameron Burtenshaw and his family.

The line of 83 milk tooth cross bred weaner steers sold for 324c/kg. With an average weight of about 309kg, the line returned just over $1000/head.

Mr Burtenshaw and his young family bought St Ronans at Mount Surprise in 2014 and use it as a breeding property. Weaner steers are sent to their Atherton Tablelands property, The High Country, near Ravenshoe for fattening.

This year the weaners were introduced to feed mix comprised of silage, cottonseed and molasses after they were taken off their mothers in May.  

The steers spent just over 100 days on feed with their average weight gain per day almost 1kg, with the largest being 1.36/kg a day.

The heaviest weighed in at a whopping 485kg.

Mareeba based Landmark livestock agent Jack Henshaw said it was the first time the Burtenshaws had prepared weaners this way and also their first time using AuctionsPlus.

“It is a positive outcome as it shows that North Queenslanders do have more options than the historical going to the saleyards, or private paddock sale,” Mr Henshaw said.

”324c is a very strong price, compared to the market it might look a bit less, but it is strong because there was absolutely no expense for the vendor, so that in itself equates to a fair price.”

The entire line was purchased by the McKenna family of East Palmerston.

Mr Henshaw said the outcome also showed that North Queensland was capable of turning off high quality stock at a young age.

He said the week before, 240 Brahman/Brahman cross steers from Bellevue Station near Chillagoe attracted bids from as far as Blackall and Richmond, before selling to a beef producer near Charters Towers.

“That’s a very large catchment of buyers they are getting using the interface,” Mr Henshaw said.

Traditionally, the  Burtenshaw’s relied on the main markets available to them, being meatworks and live export, but chose to put the pen of weaner steers online with the hope of reaching more buyers.

Mr Burtenshaw uses a quality line of young herd bulls consisting of Brahman, Brangus, UltraBlack, Charolais and Charbray over a high content Brahman herd to produce a range of progeny suitable to the conditions and climate of the North.


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