Dan Kennys ties with the Brangus breed go back 30 years to when his father Kevin introduced the breed into the family's operations when Dan was fresh out of high school.
Dan, his wife Katherine, and their son Tom, continue to utilise the breed as a key cog in their commercial crossbreeding program at Dartmoor, Collinsville, purchased 15 years ago, and they will also be part of a three-way cross at Develin, Marlborough, which the family bought six weeks ago.
Seasonal conditions have been night and day between Dartmoor and Develin.
"We've only had 305mm so far on Dartmoor and all that came in Winter, so it's still very dry, whereas Develin is looking good. We do rotational grass budgeting at Dartmoor, which will continue at Develin once we've established it," Mr Kenny said.
He said the Brangus have consistently held appeal to the family due to the early maturing ability of the breed and for their hardiness from the Brahman content.
"This toughness is especially important on Dartmoor as the Brangus can handle the heat and ticks better than purebred Angus.
"We run Brahman bulls with Brangus breeders on Dartmoor, and the plan at Develin is to produce a Brangus x Brahman x Charbray cross to keep up the herds hybrid vigour, while producing larger framed progeny with the Charbray genetics.
"We want to reliably produce a quicker maturing article for the feedlots, and have the flexibility to finish them in a really good year."
The family control mate on Dartmoor from mid-January for three months, and at Develin they may use a slightly shorter joining period from mid-December.
"We cull cows if they aren't producing a calf each year, though heifers get a second chance on the tougher country on Dartmoor. We're a bit stricter with selection on the better country at Develin."
Due to the severity of the drought on Dartmoor, the Kennys were leasing country and selling steers straight off their mothers, but before that, when the seasons were better, they were selling to the feedlots.
"We're now looking at targeting the steers at the feeder market again as 18-month to two year-old's and at 350kg to 450kg. We'll again be aiming to sell to feedlots such as Barmount, Waterfall and Lotus Park. Cull cows will continue to be sold directly to the meatworks."
The Kennys have been buying from the ABCA Rockhampton Brahman Sale on and off since they began with breed three decades ago.
"We're going to Rocky this year, and we'll be looking for bulls with good depth and length, that are tidy underneath, and with good width across the back. Due to the wide variety of genetics at the sale we usually find bulls that suit our needs."