For the Maranoa-based Loughnan family, Charolais bulls have continued to be an ever-reliable, high performance sire option over their multi-breed female herd for more than two decades.
Robert Loughnan runs the commercial crossbred cattle business on Alicker, situated 40km south-west of Injune, with the assistance of his sons Pat and Nick, when they aren't away at work and university respectively.
Alicker, which consists of 4290ha of undulating rangeland country, has been in the family for 50 years. A 162ha section of the land is utilised for leucaena cropping to enhance the familys cattle production objectives.
Mr Loughnan said in their operation, Charolais bulls are joined with a 400 head breeding herd (increasing to 600 head this year) which predominantly incorporates Droughtmaster, Angus and Brahman females.
"We've found that all of these breeds cross well with the Charolais bulls to produce consistently good lines of calves regardless of the breeding of their mothers," he said.
He said the bulls are put in the paddock with the breeders from November to May. The majority of the calves produced during this joining period are sold directly off their mothers through the Roma Saleyards.
"Record weaner prices this year have lifted our average to more than $1100 per head, which we're happy about.
"The tail of the progeny are weaned, grown out on the leucaena, and also sold through the Roma Saleyards as early yearlings."
To enhance the overall quality of the Alicker herd, Mr Loughnan has been purchasing bulls from the Sullivan family, Riverglen Charolais for 20 years.
"We originally bought bulls from the late John Sullivan, and have continued to do so through his sons Michael and David.
"The Riverglen bulls are paddock reared and have strong bloodlines dating back many generations. The bulls we've purchased are well-muscled and are ideally suited to our dryland operation. They've always performed reliably for us."
Mr Loughnan said muscling and early-maturing bulls are what they pay close attention to when making their bull buying decisions.
"As we don't grow bullocks and late maturing cattle these factors are crucial, it's very important that the article we produce presents well at weaning, which is our first point of sale."