A 40-year Santa success story

Humphreys sold on market diversity Santas provide


Business features
Top cross: Scott and Therese Humphreys on Welbatch, 30km west of Casino, NSW, with a selection of their Santa Gertrudis x Hereford cross cattle. The family has successfully been using the Santa Gertrudis for close to 25 years.

Top cross: Scott and Therese Humphreys on Welbatch, 30km west of Casino, NSW, with a selection of their Santa Gertrudis x Hereford cross cattle. The family has successfully been using the Santa Gertrudis for close to 25 years.

Aa

For close to four decades the Humphreys family has enjoyed access to a broad range of markets for the Santa Gertrudis x Hereford cross they produce on Welbatch, 30km west of Casino, New South Wales.

Aa

For close to four decades the Humphreys family has enjoyed access to a broad range of markets for the Santa Gertrudis x Hereford cross they produce on Welbatch, 30km west of Casino, NSW.

Operating as Welbatch Pty Ltd, Scott and Therese Humphreys run the operation across four blocks with their children Taylor and Darby, who're the fifth generation of the family to live on the Welbatch, which was purchased by the family in 1920.

Welbatch is primarily comprised of virgin rainforest country that was initially cleared for dairy farming. The land ranges from heavy scrub soil to lighter forest country and backs onto the Richmond Range.

Scott said they received a good break in the weather in March and since that time they've had further small falls, but as they haven't had much run-off rain, water is becoming an issue.

"At present, we're lightly supplementing our calves and our cows to make sure they go back in calf. It's a fairly safe area in general water-wise so we're just being wary of problems down the road.

The Humphreys join 400 females annually with Santa bulls put over Hereford breeders and Hereford bulls are put with Santa cows.

"The joining period starts on June 1 and lasts until the end of November. We cull stringently for cows that don't go in calf in the first 10 to 12 weeks."

The Humphreys join 400 females annually with Santa bulls put over Hereford breeders and Hereford bulls are put with Santa cows.

The Humphreys join 400 females annually with Santa bulls put over Hereford breeders and Hereford bulls are put with Santa cows.

He said they've been using Santas for nearly 40 years.

"We like them for their easy doing ability and for their wide acceptance into a broad range of markets.

"We prioritise turning off EU weaners at 300kg to 350kg predominantly as backgrounders for the EU and feedlot markets.

"We've been selling a lot of our weaners to Upton Pastoral Company at Walcha for many years."

Scott said the Santa x Hereford cross progeny have very good milk ability, are clean coated and are great for ease of calving.

He said early maturity in the Santa bulls they purchase is crucial for the market they're chasing. Natural muscling and growth for age are other factors they consider important when buying.

"We purchased a bull from the MacCue family, Tookey Creek Santa Gertrudis, Wilga last year. He was joined to 40 select Hereford heifers this year and we're excited to see how the progeny look."

Scott said they like to benchmark their cattle against other commercial operations by participating in feedlot trials.

"We entered 18 steers in the Sydney Royal Show Finest Food Festival's Paddock to Plate competition for which the results will be finalised on September 5.

"We achieved a credible result in the feedlot side of it, and we're now waiting on the results for the carcase and eating quality sections."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by