Rebuilding northern beef herd

North west flood impacted producers begin to restock

Beef
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Eight months after a devastating monsoon wiped out hundreds of thousands of cattle in north west Queensland, producers are looking to the future.

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Successful stride: Jasmin Brown, 5, Gunnerside Station, Hughenden, helped her dad Rod select nine replacement bulls at Brahman Week. Picture: Jessica Johnston.

Successful stride: Jasmin Brown, 5, Gunnerside Station, Hughenden, helped her dad Rod select nine replacement bulls at Brahman Week. Picture: Jessica Johnston.

EIGHT months after a devastating monsoon wiped out hundreds of thousands of cattle in north west Queensland, producers are looking to the future.

The annual Rockhampton Brahman Week Sale provided a platform for impacted producers to begin replacing stud bulls lost to the flood.

Rob Flute, Chatfield Station, Richmond, lost eight stud bulls in the weather event, including all but one he purchased last year.

Mr Flute had his eye on quality and purchased eight bulls to average $24,375 at Brahman Week.

"We breed a lot of bulls so we're looking for stud sires," Mr Flute said.

"We lost 1000 head and all of our young heifers, the best heifers we'd ever bred, they all died.

"It's pretty hard, we'll probably never get it back but you've got to have some heart."

Mr Flute's top purchase for $40,000 was Yenda V 447 (H) bought from Scott and Vicki Hayes, Mundubbera.

The 22-month-old weighed 959kg, had a scrotal circumference of 39cm and an eye muscle area of 140sq cm.

Mr Flute said he liked his structure, bone and, importantly, temperament.

"You've got to have good temperament if you're breeding bulls."

Rod Brown of Gunnerside, 20km west of Hughenden, lost 200-300 head to the biting cold which came with the rain.

He selected nine bulls and said they would replace older cattle.

"We are very happy with the bulls we chose," Mr Brown said.

"Those are replacement bulls, we'll go through our herd now and pull out some of the older bulls to replace with a bit of fresh blood."

Rob Flute, Chatfield Station, Richmond, bought Yenda V 447 for $40,000 from Scott and Vicki Hayes, Mundubbera.

Rob Flute, Chatfield Station, Richmond, bought Yenda V 447 for $40,000 from Scott and Vicki Hayes, Mundubbera.

Mr Brown said they usually carry 4000-5000 head and breed predominantly for the domestic market.

He said fences had been replaced and they were largely back up and running.

"We didn't fare too bad in the flood, we lost a fair swag in comparison to the numbers we usually carry.

"We've got a bit of feed in some paddocks to get through to the end of the year without having to supplement."

Jacqueline Curley, Gipsy Plains, Cloncurry, lost about half of their herd in the flood.

The Curleys bought five bulls at Brahman Week to average $21,400.

"We can't restock a great deal until the season breaks, but bull wise, we have to keep on trading. Our game is breeding herd bulls and we need to maintain the sires to do that."

Mrs Curley said they were focused on replacing polled bulls.

"The majority of young bulls were poll genetics, we lost a lot and that really hit the poll genetics as well," she said.

"We're got about half of what we had before, but we're lucky we still have herd bulls to sell.

"We're not changing our program, if anything we will try to ramp it up."

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