Ever since Tom Bowman started using Wagyu bulls, he hasn't had to pull a single calf.
And for the fifth-generation Manilla farmer, this is only the beginning of the benefits of Wagyu genetics in his herd.
Mr Bowman and his wife Emily, Tarpoly, Manilla, use Wagyu bulls over their primarily Angus herd, and the progeny are being snapped up by feedlots.
Mr Bowman went from one field to another - he played lock for the Wallabies, and it was only after he retired from rugby union he headed home to the family farm.
The property originally ran sheep and grew wheat, as well as running Hereford cattle in the 1980s.
The family began to breed Angus cattle, but the introduction of Wagyu genetics came about in 2007 when they were on the hunt for a new bull.
"We wanted an easy calving bull for the Angus heifers, and we came across Wagyu. They were the complete opposite to the beef breed bulls we were used to. They were much smaller," he said.
They decided to give them a go, and he's never looked back.
"Before we used Wagyu, we had to check heifers during calving, and were pulling heifers," he said.
"As soon as we put the Wagyu over, I don't think we've pulled a calf."
He said there were a number of traits the Wagyu genetics brought to the table.
"Marbling is a major one, carcase weights, growth rates, in particular the 400 and 600-day weights, calving ease and low birth weights," he said.
He said using Wagyu bulls from Circle 8 stud, Marulan, for the past four years had really boosted these traits.
"Their genetics are top notch, especially in terms of putting weight on and getting kilos of beef."
He said they noticed after three or four years of using Wagyu genetics they were actually making more from Wagyu-cross heifers than pure Angus.
"And the growth rates weren't really that different, with proper grazing management," he said.
In 2012, they stopped using Angus bulls altogether, and since then have only used Wagyu bulls.
They join 1300 Angus cows in two joinings - one to calve from February and one from July.
The calves are weaned at around four to five months. which gives the cows plenty of rest before they calve again.
"And it doesn't affect the weight gains in the calves," he said.
The weaners graze on sub-tropical grasses which are fertilised each year.
All of the weaners are destined for feedlots, which Mr Bowman said prefer to have the Wagyu-cross weaners when they are older.
"At 34 to 36 months, the meat has matured," he said.
The weaners are sold to feedlots when they weigh over 420 kilograms and are around 14 to 18 months old.
They are mostly sold to Rangers Valley or Mort and Co.
Mr Bowman is thrilled with the direction the Wagyu genetics are taking his progeny.
"The calving ease is a great asset. And their temperament in the paddock after weaning is great," he said. "Wagyu is just a great breed."
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