Explosion of weight in cross

Simmental-cross packs a punch at St Ann's Station

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MARKETABLE: The Simmental-cross has opened up more market options for St Ann's Station.

MARKETABLE: The Simmental-cross has opened up more market options for St Ann's Station.

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Using Simmental genetics has opened up new markets for Bill and Larissa Holzwart at St Ann's Station.

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An explosion of weight gain. This is what Bill Holzwart has seen happen with the addition of Simmental blood to his Brahman herd. And for him, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Mr Holzwart, who has managed St Ann's Station, Charters Towers, with his wife Larissa and their two sons for the past two-and-a-half years, says the infusion of Simmental has opened up more markets for their progeny.

The Holzwart family runs 1300 breeders on the 19,500-hectare property, owned by Gina Warre.

Mr Holzwart said it had been six years since Simmental bulls began to be used on the property, and it had made a huge difference to their production.

THRIVING: Bill and Larissa Holzwart, and sons Liam and Hugh, manage St Ann's Station, Charters Towers, running 1300 Brahman and Simbrah breeders.

THRIVING: Bill and Larissa Holzwart, and sons Liam and Hugh, manage St Ann's Station, Charters Towers, running 1300 Brahman and Simbrah breeders.

He said they run two main breeder herds, both Brahman and Simbrah, with a mix of Brahman and Simmental bulls.

"With the hybrid vigour, it has just produced an explosion of weight gain," he said.

"In the first cross, it seems to take the hump off. They still have the length of ear and loose skin of the Brahman, but they have a nice flat back, and the better doing ability of the Simmental."

And instead of relying heavily on the live export market, having the Simmental genetics has opened up new markets for the station.

"With live export, you can get hamstrung really quickly. But now we can target the southern market as a feeder," he said. "It means if the season doesn't play the game, they can go to a feedlot. You can grow the cattle you want and you've got more market options."

Mr Holzwart said only the bottom third of the weaners, or around 200, go to the live export market in Vietnam, with most of the lead of the weaners, or around 320, being finished as bullocks.

Mr Holzwart said his focus was getting animals to market as soon as possible.

"The longer it takes you to get that article to market, the more it costs," he said.

OPTIONS: St Ann's Station runs both Simbrah and Brahman breeders, which are joined to both Brahman and Simmental bulls.

OPTIONS: St Ann's Station runs both Simbrah and Brahman breeders, which are joined to both Brahman and Simmental bulls.

"You need a genetic pool that means you can get it done as soon as possible. We aim to get bullocks off between and two and four-tooth, at about 300 to 340 kilograms dressed."

The station has bought bulls from Clay Gully Simmental stud, Esk, for the past six years

"They seem to handle the conditions really well," Mr Holzwart said. "We haven't looked back. We expect them to do a fair bit of work."

"They have a good thick coat and skin, and the buffalo fly doesn't seem to bother them much."

Mr Holzwart said he had also noticed the Simmental genetics had helped with fertility and growth.

"The crossbred heifers get in calf much more quickly than the Brahman heifers," he said. "And they are bigger heifers. They are able to get in calf 12 months earlier than the others."

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: The Simbrah calves have the length of ear and loose skin of the Brahman, but they have the doing ability of the Simmental.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: The Simbrah calves have the length of ear and loose skin of the Brahman, but they have the doing ability of the Simmental.

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