Brangus bulls purchased through the Central Brangus Classic (CBC) sale will continue to play a major factor in the success of the commercial crossbred breeding operation Dan and Jutta Godwin have established at Yarrai, 50kms west of Springsure.
After 12 months of careful succession planning, the Godwin's passed the reins of the operation to their son-in-law Howard Smith and their daughter Gail six weeks ago, while they've retired and shifted from the country to the coast to take up residence in Yeppoon.
It'll be business as usual at Yarrai, the 15,000ha primary breeding block, where after twice yearly weaning periods, steers and cull heifers will continue to be transferred to the other properties involved in the operation, Boonberry and Langsvale, in the Bauhinia Downs district, 60km west of Moura.
"There is 400ha of leucaena on Boonberry (4250ha) onto which steers and females are put to be grown out and finished to meet the MSA, EU and PCAS markets through Teys at Biloela," Dan said
"There is also 200 acres of leucaena at Langsvale (2025ha), where close to 300 breeders are run. We also fatten cull heifers there."
To meet their markets specifications, Dan said their weaner steers need to be no more than 4 teeth, 6ml to 22ml fat and have a dressed weight of 340kg to 350kg.
"Our goal is to get as many of our steers to fit this market. The heifer portion has similar criteria, but the dressed weight is less, about 260kg to 280kg."
Dan said in the last couple of years they've branded close to 1200 calves.
"This is where our use of the Brangus has helped, as they're a very fertile breed.
He said in the program close to 15 Brangus bulls are put over Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster females.
"About 15 Droughtmaster bulls are used as well, and there's nothing wrong with their progeny either."
Dan said they started using Brangus 10 years ago after Duncan Geddes from Telemon Brangus moved out to Springsure and introduced him to the breed.
"We've found that the Brangus bulls have great doing ability and produce early maturing calves.
"Also, the Brangus-cross females aren't an overly big beast so when the dry comes we know they'll be OK.
He said while they've purchased a few Brangus bulls out of the paddock, most of their sires have been sourced from the CBC sale.
They often buy from Lawson Geddes, Couti Outi Brangus, Kunwarara, Gavin McKenzie Tannyfoil Brangus, Blackwater, and Duncan at the sale.
"We've purchased from other vendors as well. Most of them also run commercial cattle operations so they know what they're doing.
"All the bulls we've bought at the CBC sale have been very useful, and most of the time we've purchased them at a fairly affordable price."
Dan said after doing a bit of experimenting they started chasing bulls from the sale with higher Angus/lower Brahman content.
"We found that the heavier Angus content bulls did a better job for us in producing good bullocky calves."
He said there is currently close to 400 Brangus and Droughtmaster cross weaners in the yard at present.
"They're damn good weaners considering the seasons we've been having."
Howard said they won't be making many changes to the operation.
"Dan and Jutta have done a fantastic job with the cattle and the property. It's a great opportunity for Gail and I to continue on with," he said.
Dan and Jutta said they're happy with the shift.
"They're young enough to have some different ideas, and Jutta is really enjoying living in Yeppoon," Dan said.
"I think I'm still getting used to the change, but I'll fit in here eventually. I'll be continuing to go out to the properties occasionally to see how the program is going as I still have a lot of interest in it," he said.