The Droughtmaster has been crucial to the success of the Farquhar family's commercial and stud enterprises since they began utilising the breed in the early 2000's.
Larry Farquhar runs the business, with his mother Rebecca, with all breeding and backgrounding activities carried out on Katrina, which is situated north-east of Rolleston.
Katrina, which consists of undulating brigalow and box country running into lancewood and ironbark ranges, has been in the Farquhar name for 45 years, with Mr Farquhar representing the third generation of the family to work on the property, which he's called home his entire life.
This year's winter has been the best that Mr Farquhar has experienced over the course of all his years on Katrina.
"We've received good soaking rain with adequate runoff, which has been spaced out perfectly," he said.
"The cattle are looking the best I've seen coming out of any winter I've seen here. They look truly magnificent."
It has been close to two decades since the family introduced Droughtmaster bulls into their program to improve the fertility and temperament in the crossbred progeny produced by their then predominantly Brahman and Charbray breeding herd.
"In the span of a single generation of breeding with Droughtmasters we could see a significant change for the better. We've stuck with Droughtmaster bulls since then."
Solely using bulls from the breed for the last 10 years has seen cattle produced in the Farquhars commercial program transform into a high content Droughtmaster-cross article.
He said as black cattle are in hot demand they've introduced Angus and Ultrablack bulls.
"We're joining these to about a third of our high content Droughtmaster breeders to improve the carcase, marbling and meat quality characteristics of the progeny with which we'll target the feeder market."
The Farquhars run a fixed joining program from mid-October to mid-February. They're strict on fertility with no second chances given to heifers or cows that preg-test empty. They also remove cows from the program at 11-years-old. This pressure put on the herd saw the Farquhars achieve a 90 per cent fertility rate across the the board in the thick of the drought in 2019.
"Since the season broke that figure has increased to the low to mid 90pc range, including heifers. We were supplement feeding through the drought but they haven't required much assistance since the season turned."
The Farquhars sell all steers as 540kg heavy feeders, for which they receive a premium and receive consistently strong feedback for from the feedlots.
"Since the drought we've been joining all heifers to low birthweight Droughtmaster and Angus bulls. What we sell and retain is dictated by the season. This has allowed us to sell through the currently strong restocker market with surplus heifers."
When not managing the commercial herd the Farquhars are focussed on their stud operations, Calco Droughtmasters, which they run together, and Eljay Droughtmasters, which Mr Farquhar established in 2017.
To improve the genetics running through their programs, the Farquhars began buying bulls from the National Droughtmaster Bull Sale in 2009, and Mr Farquhar has personally been sourcing bulls from the sale since he established his stud.
"The national sale presents excellent opportunities to purchase first-rate sires from the leading seedstock producers involved with the breed. There are bulls to suit all operations and budgets."
It was at the 2020 sale that Mr Farquhar bid high to secure Hazelwood Bronx (P) for $70,000, from the Woods family, Hazelwood Droughtmasters, Obi Obi.
"Bronx has been delivering the goods since we bought him. In his first year at Katrina he was in a single sire program, which resulted in 57 females preg-testing in calf to him. The first crop of calves by him were weaned two months ago and are absolute standouts."
Many of Bronx's progeny were retained in the stud program, with his sons to be offered at the 2023 sale, and his daughters to be offered earlier in the year at the National Droughtmaster Female Sale in Gympie.
The Farquhars have also been exhibiting pens of bulls at the Springsure Show for the last few years and are gearing up to enter commercial cattle in several carcase competitions in 2023.
"We're also in the process of getting led and prime cattle teams together for Beef 2024. These avenues are a great ways to showcase what we're doing in our commercial and stud programs."
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