The Moffatt family have been impressed with the influence Belmont Red bull genetics has had in their composite herd at Muldoon, located south west of Marlborough, in Mornish.
Trading as RV Pastoral, Richard and Victoria Moffatt, run their business across Muldoon and nearby Green Gully, with their daughters Aisling and Phoebe, when they're home from boarding school in Brisbane. The Moffatts bought Muldoon 15 years, then leased Green Gully in 2013, before buying it two and a half years ago.
"We predominantly run our pure Brahman and composite seedstock enterprises on Muldoon, and a trading operation at Green Gully. As the numbers continue to increase in our seedstock programs we're scaling back the trading facet of the business," Mr Moffatt said.
It has been five years since the Moffatts began using Belmont Red semen in their composite herd.
"We were looking for a breed that would provide us with higher fertility, earlier maturing cattle, that were better adapted for the north, while also offering good growth and carcase qualities in our composites."
Their goal is to produce Brahman and highly adaptable composite bulls to sell into the market that will then produce highly fertile females for their clients. All of the Moffatts seedstock Brahmans and composites are fully data recorded, DNA verified and the Brahmans are submitted to Breedplan for EBVs.
"The males these cows produce can get up and grow quickly due to their inherent adaptability to the north. These calves can be grown out for 400 days for entry into the live export market or fed for 100 days by backgrounders, who can then truck them south for the domestic feedlot market. It's all about giving producers options."
The Moffats run a fixed joining program from November 15 to January 15, with all yearling and maiden heifers mated for 66 days.
"Any heifers or older cows that don't present with a weaner calf are culled. Across our Brahman and composite herds, despite little to no rain in the joining period over the last several years, our wet re-breed rate sits at around 88 per cent."
Some of the semen that the Moffatts have used in their AI program with the composite herd has been purchased from Jeanne Seifert and Ian Stark, Seifert Belmont Reds, Jandowae.
"What we really like about dealing with Jeanne and Ian is their transparency in the product they offer. All their bulls and semen is backed by extremely thorough data so we know exactly what we're buying. Through this data we have full confidence that they're doing what they're saying in relation to their selection and culling programs, and the fertility, mothering ability, performance and structure of their females."
They're now transitioning into buying Seifert bulls.
"It was a slow burn progressing the AI program, which gave us the ability to get into those higher end performing animals. We want to have a look at their bulls prior to their sale in August, at which we operate as prospective buyers.
Mr Moffatt said their country is quite diverse, with Muldoon consisting of riverflat loamy vinewood scrub land, which leads up into bloodwood and ironbark open forestry country.
"We also have about 250ha of cultivation country where we mainly grow forage crops. In these drier times we have maximised on the shorter rainfall window to grow bulk forage."
He said the season to date had been sub par - with just 47mm received - though three weeks ago they began getting good soaking rain, which lasted through May.
"It has been unbelievable. We planted a barley crop in the dry that has taken off, and our cattle look great.
"It has helped that we undertake regenerative ag practices by rotationally grazing and resting paddocks. The country has responded well."
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