Cross success for Newcombes

Charolais X working wonders for Newcombes

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The program: The Newcombes run a predominantly high-content Brahman commercial breeding herd for which Charolais bulls are utilised for joining.

The program: The Newcombes run a predominantly high-content Brahman commercial breeding herd for which Charolais bulls are utilised for joining.

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Charbray progeny produced in the Newcombe familys commercial crossbreeding operation are providing them with great market flexibility and a high return on the article they sell.

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Charbray progeny produced in the Newcombe familys commercial crossbreeding operation are providing them with great market flexibility and a high return on the article they sell.

The family live at Greens Creek, east of Gympie, and Andrew Newcombe, with the help of his daughters Tiffany and Bronte, and his brother Stephen run the cattle business on 6000ha of flat, predominantly Setaria country on Caloundra Downs, on the coast of Caloundra.

Mr Newcombe said they began leasing Caloundra Downs just over 10 years ago. The primary reason behind this decision was the high annual rainfall the region receives.

"We've received 1200mm this year to date. The country is looking great," he said.

For many years the family ran a recipient business, putting other peoples cattle embryos in their cows and selling back the pregnancies to the client.

"However, having to have a J BAS score of seven made it hard to source cattle to meet those requirements. We now only implant for ourselves."

The Newcombes have established a red Brahman stud, and also run a predominantly high-content Brahman commercial breeding herd for which Charolais bulls are utilised for joining.

"We introduced the Charolais into the program with the purchase of two Kandanga Valley bulls from the Mercer family, eight years ago.

"These bulls performed well for us. They were left in the paddock all year round due to the ongoing implants of recips. Once the recipients were implanted the bulls were put in with the cows for 10 weeks, then removed and put in with the next recipients in the program.

Mr Newcombe purchased another six bulls from the Mercers, five years ago, three of which are polled.

"They have good temperaments, bone and fertility, handle the coastal conditions well, and the resulting Charbray progeny are quiet and easy to sell. I'll be returning to the Mercers sale this year to buy more bulls."

"Our Brahman herd is predominantly poll. Not having to dehorn minimises our risk of wild dog attacks, which is an issue in the region.

He said they normally sell nine-month-old feeder steers, at close to 250kg.

"We sell through the Gympie Saleyards to the processors. Lately, we've been averaging $1000 per head."

They keep close to 300 Charbray heifers each year as replacements.

"These heifers are donated to a local campdraft committee and then put with our Brahman bulls for mating."

Mr Newcombe, who's also a full-time plumber, said he's looking forward to retiring soon so he can go back to focussing solely on the cattle.

"We'll slowly be increasing our numbers, and we're looking at buying a western fattening block in the west."

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