Queensland Country Life

The Whiteface influence pushes north

Herefords Australia's most northern bred Super Sire, Jarrah Fortune Q236 (PP).

This is branded content Jarrah Genetics.

Herefords Australia's most northern bred Super Sire, Jarrah Fortune Q236 (PP) is set to make his mark for Clermont based beef producers, The Burnett Group. This follows a push from the breed towards the uptake of white-faced genetics in more northern production systems.

Q236 is a homozygous polled bull bred by the Becker family at Banana in Central Queensland. He was purchased by Doug and Amanda Burnett, Bendemeer, Clermont, for $29,000 in September, 2021, at the annual Jarrah Genetics bull sale.

The Burnett Group has a large portfolio of beef cattle stations spread across CQ, with more than 15,000 breeders joined each year within a rotational crossbreeding program. Q236 is destined to join the Burnett's bull breeding program located at Bendemeer. This program culminates in the production of three lines of bulls and forms the genetic base for the larger Burnett Group.

The genetic base for the Burnett's herds has traditionally been Brahman and Braford breeds, but in more recent years, principal Doug Burnett, has begun to introduce Herefords into the mix. The Hereford and Brahman cross is a well suited, productive article that achieves the groups production goals, and simultaneously expands the genetic diversity for the operation.

Mr Burnett's plan is to use Q236 over higher Brahman content, stud Braford cows at Bendemeer to produce replacement females as well as young bulls.

Mr Burnett says that Herefords offer a number of traits that are essential to his family's operations, including polled genetics, carcase quality and temperament. Significantly, these traits are all backed up by data that has been measured and has high accuracy, which is in contrast to many other breeds that could be considered.

Mr Burnett saw the acquisition of Q236 (PP) as a great opportunity to obtain industry leading genetics with proven performance to enhance the overall efficiencies of the Burnett Group beef cattle operation. He said it was pivotal that Fortune was born and bred in Central Queensland tick country, meaning he was already adapted to survive in the harsher northern conditions in comparison to his southern bred counterparts within the Super Sire program.

SUPER SIRE CREDENTIALS

The Whiteface influence pushes north

In 2018 Herefords Australia launched the prestigious Super Sire program, which was created to identify young sire candidates within the breed with leading EBVs, that stand to offer performance advantages within commercial production systems.

Several parameters are set, focusing on efficiency and performance, that must be met for a bull to be eligible to join the program. When a bull meets the criteria, the owner is notified of the bull (or bulls) that are eligible for nomination into the program. The owner is able to nominate one bull per round of which there are two rounds a year. If the owner feels that this bull is worthy of Super Sire status, they will choose to have them listed as such.

The selection criteria ensures that the bulls have leading data, and it's the breeder's responsibility to ensure that the bull is phenotypically outstanding.

BURNETTS PLAN FOR Q236

Mr Burnett's plan is to use Q236 over higher Brahman content, stud Braford cows at Bendemeer to produce replacement females as well as young bulls that will be offered for sale and use among the broader Burnett Group commercial breeding herds.

"Q236 has a tremendous phenotype, with great carcase attributes, and is a bull that I like more every time I see him. To be able to obtain these genetics, backed by the quality of the Hereford Group Breedplan, that has also been bred in our tropical climate, is not something that happens every day!" he said.

The genetic base for the Burnett's herds has traditionally been Brahman and Braford breeds, but in more recent years, principal Doug Burnett, has begun to introduce Herefords into the mix.

"When I saw his sire, the $50,000 Injemira Fortune M152, in the paddock at Jarrah, I was very impressed by his tremendous width and scale while still maintaining a moderate overall size. Performance throughout a pedigree gives you a really good gauge on the bull's breeding consistency, and Q236 certainly offers that. We have some fairly large-framed cows, so I'm confident these genetics will combine well with our herd."

The bull breeding herd at Bendemeer has been performance recorded for over 40 years. In this time Mr Burnett has noticed a considerable lift in the commercial performance throughout the operation, with gains in fertility, calving percentages and growth rates all apparent.

In line with these breeding philosophies Q236 is a bull that he believes will not only keep their calving ease and birthweights in check, but also add to the weight gains and carcase quality of the operation.

"Q236 will be pivotal in continuing to capitalise on these essential economic traits within our business. And he's homozygous polled as well, meaning we'll be able to maintain a lot of polled genetics in our herd."

THE OPPORTUNITY

What makes Q236 stand out from the other Super Sires in the program is the fact that he has been bred in CQ, tick country.

Breeder, Sam Becker of Jarrah Herefords said Q236 is flying the flag for Herefords Australia's vision to push the breed into 'Brahman breeder country'.

"This Super Sire has the phenotype to perform in our part of the world," Mr Becker said.

Mr Burnett said, in his experience, that for cross-breeding purposes, Herefords haven't been used extensively in the north due to the lack of individuals with tropical adaptation.

"Q236 changes this. He's now a new option to rapidly capitalise on massive hybrid vigour, without adding too much hair. Further to this, Q236's low birthweight, high calving ease and short gestation length have the ability to take the risk out of joining heifers. In my experience, this is another essential trait that's at the forefront of producers mind's in our part of the world.

Breed leading EBVs.

"Combined with the benefits of improved carcase quality and market suitability for feeder cattle over Brahman-based herds, there's financial incentive for producers to consider this as a viable option for their operations moving forward."

He said Q236 also presents a fantastic opportunity for southern Hereford bull breeders to expand their market further north by using a tropically bred Hereford bull with breed-leading performance data.

"They can use Q236 to make their southern-bred Herefords more suited to northern producers and create a bigger customer base."

Herd bolstering homozygous polled semen is now available to purchase from the northernmost Hereford Super Sire, Jarrah Fortune Q236 (PP).

For this season only, commercial producers can access semen straws at a 50 per cent discount. In addition to this offer, any Queensland based breeders are also able to obtain semen at a further 50pc discount for a limited time.

Mr Burnett made this decision to incentivise people, so they may experience firsthand the opportunities Hereford genetics like these can offer their production systems.

"After sending him to the breeding centre immediately after the Jarrah sale, Q236 produced much more high quality semen than we could ever use ourselves so we've made the decision to make his genetics available to other producers until the excess supplies run out."