From backgrounding to breeders

Roma family's switch to breeding proves successful


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BREEDER SUCCESS: The Allen family, Huck, Helen, Jean and Neve, of Mountain Cottage, Roma, with their weaners at the Roma saleyards.

BREEDER SUCCESS: The Allen family, Huck, Helen, Jean and Neve, of Mountain Cottage, Roma, with their weaners at the Roma saleyards.

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Find out why this family moved from backgrounding to the breeder game.

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A ROMA family have moved from the background of the cattle industry and are seeing great success being front and centre of the breeding game.

Huck and Helen Allen and their children, Jean, 5, and Neve, 8, operate the 4046 hectare property, Mountain Cottage, between Roma and Mitchell, where they cross Angus bulls over Santa cows. 

Up until five years ago the Allen family were backgrounding straight Angus steers on their property but made the shift to start breeding after recognizing the changing market.

In addition, they better prepared their country for a female herd by introducing a variety of tropical pastures. 

Mr Allen said this year’s weaners had benefited from new blade ploughed country. 

“We have been breeding the last five years because the market dynamics were changing, backgrounders got deer and breeding was better to be in,” he said.

“We got our country more developed so I could hold breeders more safely in the dry times.”

Their weaner steers and heifers are sold direct to the Roma store sale through TopX Roma selling agents. 

At the store sale on June 27, where more than 9000 head were yarded, the family sold 136 Angus cross steers and 145 heifers with great success.

The steers topped at 384c/kg with the line averaging 369c/kg at 307kg to return $1136/hd. 

The heifers reached 337c/kg for an average of 335c/kg at 290kg to return $976/hd. 

Mr Allen said supplying what the market demanded was their end goal and not only was top quality weaner cattle currently top of the agenda, their Angus Santa cross was also fulfilling the needs of buyers.

He said their choice of breeds came down to Santa cows being able to handle the dry times and the Angus bulls being fertile and keen to work. 

“The market wants this cross,” he said.

“I am just catering to the market, not catering to any personal preferences.”

Unlike some Roma producers, the Allen family have benefited from a positive season with “heaps of feed”.

“The timing of the rain was not too much but just when we needed it,” Ms Allen said.

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