Charolais key in Strettons op

Charolais central to Strettons breeding program

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Aim: Wade and Megan Stretton on Teelah, north of Blackbutt. The Strettons join Charolais bulls with their composite breeding herd and target the Toogoolawah and Coolabunia weaner sales with their progeny.

Aim: Wade and Megan Stretton on Teelah, north of Blackbutt. The Strettons join Charolais bulls with their composite breeding herd and target the Toogoolawah and Coolabunia weaner sales with their progeny.

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Charolais bulls have been central to the Strettons crossbreeding program on Teelah, north of Blackbutt, in the South Burnett region for close to 20 years.

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Charolais bulls have been central to the Strettons crossbreeding program on Teelah, north of Blackbutt, in the South Burnett region for close to 20 years.

Wade and Megan Stretton run the family business with his parents Frank and Shirley who initially introduced the Charolais bulls into the operation after trialling several other breeds over the years.

Teelah has been in the family for 80 years with Wade and Megan representing the third generation of Strettons to work cattle on the 2023ha property. Mr Stretton said Teelah, which borders Cooyar Creek, consists of forest country, with steep granite, and black speargrass.

Mr Stretton said they put the Charolais bulls over their composite herd to produce clean-coated Charbray-cross progeny which are ideal for their ticky country.

"We started crossing the composites with the Charolais two decades ago, to target the markets in our region. The Charolais go well here, they're good doers," he said.

"We usually put the bulls in the paddock in October and take them out at the end of May. All cattle are grown on native pastures and supplemented with loose licks from June until we get good rain."

The Strettons sell their Charolais-cross weaners at upwards of 250kg, at about six-month-olds, season dependent. Mr Stretton said prices have been very good lately, with the last lot they sold averaging $4.80/kg.

The Strettons sell their Charolais-cross weaners at upwards of 250kg, at about six-month-olds, season dependent. Mr Stretton said prices have been very good lately, with the last lot they sold averaging $4.80/kg.

The family target the Toogoolawah and Coolabunia weaner sales with their progeny.

"We sell the weaners at upwards of 250kg, at about six-month-olds, season dependent. The prices have been brilliant lately, the last lot we sold averaged $4.80/kg and they were only little."

"Recently we've had to shift them lighter. We sell at heavier weights when we can, but the last five season have been pretty ordinary.

"Our main aim is to look after the cows, even if that means we take the calves off them earlier, so they can get back in-calf quicker."

To source first-rate bulls for their program, the Strettons regularly attend the Coolabunia Classic Charolais Bull Sale, from where they've been buying bulls from Tania Haynes, River Run Charolais, for eight years.

"Tania breeds bulls with excellent conformation, but it's their temperament which stands out to me. We have six River Run bulls in the paddock at present. I'll be going down to have a look at the 2020 sale draft during the upcoming open day."

Mr Stretton said while they've received 356mm of rain so far this year, most of it didn't end up in their dams, and for this reason, in combination with the dry seasons prior to 2020, they're down to 300 breeders when they usually run closer to 500.

"A lot of our dams aren't full at present, and we haven't had decent rain since March, so we're hoping for a wet Winter.

"Over the last couple of years we put in a few bores which have drought proofed the top end of the property, and the bottom half is connected to creek."

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