For 70 years the Russell family have been producing high-quality commercial cattle at Echo Hills, west of Springsure.
Geoff and Karen Russell along with their five children Daniel, Jamie, Zac, Bradley and Josh, currently run a 3000 head mixed breeding herd on the 38,000ha property.
Geoff said the land at Echo Hills, which has been in the family for 70 years, consists of close to 40 per cent cleared Brigalow country, which merges into Ironbark ridges, with creek flats running through the property.
Their other properties Aldebaran (2145ha) and Stoney Creek (1375ha), situated between Springsure and Emerald, are used for growing grain feed and forage oats to finish their cattle.
“We have a primarily red herd in which we produce a Santa Gertrudis/Droughtmaster-cross, though we do also have a fair number of black cattle in which we put Brangus bulls over Droughtmaster females,” he said.
He said the family has been using Brangus for more than 10 years with favourable results.
“We like the Brangus as they have enough Brahman content in them do remain productive in the drought, and they also cross over other breeds really well.
“We aim to breed cattle which can be fattened and finished quickly so they have better weight at slaughter.”
Geoff said they sell their Brangus-cross bullocks at 350kg and spayed heifers between 270-280kg dressed direct to JBS at Rockhampton, usually as two or three-year-old’s.
To help improve the genetics running through the herd, the Russell’s have been attending the Central Brangus Classic Sale sale for over a decade.
“I think it’s the best Brangus sale held in the Central Highlands region each year.
“Most of the sale bulls are bred in our region, so we know they can handle our conditions, and we get to choose top quality bulls from some of the best Brangus stud’s around.”
At the 2017 sale, the Russell’s bought Telemon Jacob (P) from Duncan and Karen Geddes, Telemon Brangus, Springsure for $20,000, who they said has been going well on-property.
Geoff said they regularly purchase Telemon bulls and have been very happy with how they’re performing.
“We have a paddock with 200 breeders many of which are Brangus-cross cows, six of those have been joined to Duncan’s bulls, and the weaners from that paddock, are some of the best we’ve bred.”
Geoff said when attending the sale the first and most important trait he looks at in a bull is its temperament.
“There is no point in having a beautiful line of bullocks and breeders if you can’t get in the yard with them.”