Fourth generation cattleman John Cotter of Kinbombi made the switch from an entirely British-bred Hereford base to joining Droughtmasters in 2013 and has no regrets.
He said his breeding herd would not be where it was today if it wasn't for the good Hereford breeding genetics based on the Grieve family's Invernaion bloodlines used to underpin his crossbreeding program.
Mr Cotter and his wife Ellen run 900 breeders over 5263 hectares of coastal range forest country grassed with native, blue, paspalum and forest grass with Iron bark and apple gum, situated east of Goomeri.
His reason for converting to Droughtmaster genetics was due to the continual use of chemicals to control the ticks.
"However the downside to moving to sleek coated cattle is the buffalo fly," he said
"We treat for buffalo fly using back rubbers and back oil.
"Over time we have tried the ear tag approach but find it is very labour intensive to process a tag both putting it in and taking it out."
He said temperament was the key element in his beef breeding business and it was what he selected for first and foremost.
"Apart from the fact it is difficult to work bad tempered livestock, a beast with a bad temperament will not produce high beef," he said.
After making the change to Droughtmaster, Mr Cotter would buy four to five bulls annually from the Childs family of Glenlands Droughtmasters.
He likes to pay a bit above the overall sale average, and if he really likes the type that he thinks will produce a good carcase with beef structure, he will pay even more.
All cows are culled at 10 to 12 years or on lack of performance.
"They will get a second chance to get in calf if the season does not support them," he said.
All progeny is sold to JBS whom Mr Cotter said he had a great working relationship with.
"I think it is critical that producers get on with their processors and both understand each other's business," he said.
"We either sell them finished at Japanese bullock weights or as heavy feeders and JBS finish them up at the Smithfield feedlot near Proston."
He joins his breeders at the rate of three per cent with the bulls joining the cows after the first summer storms in late spring and are removed in May.
"Our calving rates were really tough in 2016 to 2019 as we were out of seasons and in drought for about three years in a row," he said.
The season at Kinbombi is now the best it has been for 50 years.
"We got a decent break in November last year and have since had 40 inches in the old scale," Mr Cotter said.
Weaning takes place at eight to 11 months depending on the condition of the cows.
"Once weaned all cattle are taught to eat grain so they are prepared for the feedlot later on," he said.
After that they are turned back to grass to grow out to 500 kilograms to meet the heavy weight feeder market or grown into bullock weights.
The Cotter's preferred bullock weight is 700 kilograms to dress out at 340kg.
If the season turns bad the Cotters have their own 499 SCU feedlot, which they use when needed.
"It is a great drought mitigation asset and cash flow supported we utilise on an opportunity basis," he said.
The feedlot industry is critical to the future of the beef industry as it underpins the quality of the beef produced in both good and bad seasons, he said.
The former president of AgForce and political agribusiness-man does not hold back when the issue of recruiting and training of staff in the bush arises.
He is very concerned about the closure of the agricultural colleges. Mr Cotter works his property with the help of contract staff, which he finds difficult to attract.
"It is difficult to attract people with the necessary skills to meet the demands of today's expectations," he said.
"It is certainly a conversation we need to have to work out what the future holds for training people with skills needed to work in the bush."
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