DROUGHTMASTERS are fast becoming the breed of choice for Western Australia cattle breeders with the new J-BAS system and demand for bulls on cattle stations set to have a positive influence on Queensland sales.
Under new biosecurity guidelines, Queensland cattle entering WA must have a J-BAS 7 herd score and conduct a vet approved biosecurity plan and a check test of 50 head every 12 months.
After an incursion of the disease from imported Queensland cattle in 2012, the WA government has maintained a regulated approach to Bovine Johne's (BJD).
The new J-BAS system, however, will make WA buyer’s bull options much more clearer and guaranteed with the implementation of tests and scores.
WA Droughtmaster breeders, Clint Gartrell and Ken Mutton were on hand to watch some of the state’s best Droughtmasters compete at the Royal Queensland Show in August.
The pair both agreed that once the J-BAS system was clear in everyone’s minds, it would be a positive for both states.
Mr Gartrell said Droughtmasters were the breed of choice for WA producers and they couldn’t keep up the demand for station owners.
“Santas have got a pretty big following but I think Droughties are probably in front slightly and we are too far south for Brahmans,” he said.
“I’m right in the south east corner where typically you wouldn’t see Droughties at all but there is actually now four studs down the south with the purpose of they either feed their own stations (with bulls) or just breeding numbers to send north.”
Mr Gartrell said the growth of the breed in his state was also beginning to shift towards buying quality over quantity.
“I think there is starting to be a bit of a swing from buying numbers to buying genetics now,” he said.
“Previously if Queensland blokes were bringing bulls to Fitzroy that’s probably when we could get them or resort to AI.
“I don’t think our quality is necessarily behind what you guys have got here in Queensland, probably just different styles and we look for different things in the animal.”
Mr Mutton has 500 breeders on his property and sells Droughtmaster bulls, particularly to pastoral stations.
He said Queensland would now be an attractive option again for WA buyers.
“Before we had the market but when this open ups, it opens up the market over here (in Queensland),” he said.
“WA blokes who buy cattle over here, the last couple of years we haven't been able to do that, only from a few studs.
“We don’t cut much over there because our bull market is so strong.
“It’s a numbers game really. Some blokes need 30 or 40 bulls so if they cant get them there they will come here (to Queensland).”