Winning nick with Gelbvieh genetics

Gelbvieh bulls are proving their worthiness in tough times

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Looking good: Producer Michael Borg believes Gelbviehs cope with the toughest conditions.

Looking good: Producer Michael Borg believes Gelbviehs cope with the toughest conditions.

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Michael and Tracie Borg hope to return to the February All Breeds sale as they continue their Gelbvieh - Brahman cross breeding program

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MICHAEL and Tracie Borg are pragmatic producers, happy to explore methods for improvement yet wise enough to maintain the status quo when they unlock a winning formula.

The Borgs, Mt Bismark at Dalby and Mt Wilkin and Calveston near Clermont, run purebred Brahman females they join with Gelbvieh bulls acquired from Julie and Adrian Nixon, Weetalabah, for the "ultimate" outcome.

"We like the type of the Gelbviehs and been using them for 22 years," Mr Borg said.

"Their temperament is fabulous but they have a lot of really positive traits and Julie probably has the best Gelbvieh bulls going round.

'Hers are well bred, got good colour and conformation and I truly like the offspring out of the Brahman cows.

"These make good bullocks and the females are good to breed from and with our purebred Brahman herd and Gelbvieh bulls you get that ultimate result everyone is searching for."

The Weetalabah Gelbviehs are really adaptable, Mr Borg said.

The cattle, he said, cope with difficult conditions.

"They handle the heat and dry and ticks and the cows have a small calf to boot, which is a real plus, " Mr Borg explained.

"The calves out of Brahmans cows are small and that helps immensely especially if the cow is not real big.

"They grow out quickly, too.

"You can get a Jap bullock just breaking two teeth and be dressed at 340kg and that's what we aim at, the 340-350 kilo mark. You can get top dollar at that weight, especially if they have less teeth in their mouth.

"We have tried many other breeds but they don't stack up like the Gelbvieh for ease of calving, growth rate, fertility and hardiness.

"They are fertile, have good testicles, length and bone structure and a nice wide head and those traits help in producing a good bullock or cow."

The Borgs have an open mind in regard to markets, selling "a fair few bulls" to northern clients as well markets closer to home in Mackay and the Rockhampton district in Central Queensland.

"It's a big bonus that these Gelbviehs do well on coastal country because it opens up a few doors," Mr Borg said.

Winning ways: Michael and Tracie Borg have used Gelbvieh genetics for more than 20 years, joining those sires with their purebred Brahman females.

Winning ways: Michael and Tracie Borg have used Gelbvieh genetics for more than 20 years, joining those sires with their purebred Brahman females.

"I have been selling a lot of calves straight off the cow and repeat buyers just keep coming back.

"They seem to love the half Gelbvieh calves because they grow into good bullocks and they attract a good price.

"In the toughest of times I was still getting 30c above the market because people love the adaptability of these genetics."

The Borgs enjoy the February All Breeds Sale though circumstances have prevented them making it an annual must.

"Hopefully we will be there this time," Mr Borg said.

"I missed last year but the year before we bought some bulls off Julie and they are going well and it would be good to get back to the sale.

"I leave the bulls in the paddock all year round, they never get stale. They live with the Brahman cows and we keep them until they are sold to the meatworks as old bulls."

The Borg properties are different in size and purpose. Calveston, at a tick under 9000 hectares, is not big by some CQ standards, according to Mr Borg but is good country on which they run 1300 cows.

It comprises slightly undulating buffle country, is lightly timbered with black and red soils. It's enduring dry times, unlike Mount Bismark which caught some of the recent falls.

There are stud cows at the smaller Mount Bismark (250 hectares), which Mrs Borg describes as "is really one large hill and surrounded by flat country". It features good grass cover.

The Mt Wilkin block is slightly undulating and is used for cropping (sorghum and wheat) as well as cattle.

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