Since commencing operations in 1969 the Flynn family, Valera Vale Droughtmasters, have expanded their holdings over the years providing them with the capacity to join close to 3000 breeders in a bull breeding herd spanning from the South East to the Central West of Queensland.
Valera Vale and Yanna Station are located in the Murweh Shire in CQ Qld, and are each close to 23,000ha. Valera Vale is mostly mixed scrub country and is well developed to buffel pastures. Yanna is one third buffel pasture and two-thirds soft mulga country. Yanna is a recent acquisition and is used as a heifer block for Valera Vale and as a drought reserve.
In SEQ the Flynns operate several properties totaling close to 1800ha which is stocked with 500 breeders. These properties are largely forest country although there are some scrub paddocks. An additional 900 breeders are run in a co-operator breeder arrangement with AJ Bush and Sons and David Kassulke on, Argyle Lodge, at Beaudesert.
Michael Flynn said Argyle Lodge is adjacent to the Bush rendering plant which processes various varieties of protein meals from abattoirs across the state.
Part of the process is 5ML/week of by-product water which is irrigated onto Argyle Lodge and supports stands of improved pasture although there is a significant area of dryland native pasture as well across Argyle Lodge and other properties under the Bush/Kassulke management.
"This arrangement was developed during the recent historic drought to help maintain the numbers in the stud breeder herd and ensure that the stud was more drought resilient into the future," Mr Flynn said.
All calves from the SEQ properties are weaned onto trucks and sent to Valera Vale for education and vaccination alongside their Valera Vale-born counterparts. The heifers selected as possible retained breeders are then sent to Yanna to grow out to joining weights before returning to Valera Vale for their first calf.
"If they can successfully rear two calves on Valera Vale and are PTIC again they are considered proven breeders and may then be sent in to the SEQ properties for their remaining breeding career."
Bull calves are selected on performance at Valera Vale before being sent to, Avilion, at Greymare. Here they're performance trialed on a low energy silage ration and drafted into auction, paddock sale and cull bulls. The cull bulls are castrated under epidural anesthesia (augmented by longer acting pain relief) and fattened. There are 110 stud breeders run on Avilion as well
Sale bulls are Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluated (BBSE) to Aust. Cattle Vet standards by an independent veterinarian (Valera Vale has two vets on staff as well) and sperm morphology tested. They are also carcase scanned by accredited scanner, Paul Kenny. They undergo a comprehensive vaccination program and are tested clear of Pompes Disease and Pestivirus PI.
Mr Flynn said Valera Vale is heavily involved in genomics and other research including the Calf Alive project.
"This research led by Dr. Luis Prada e Silva is looking at previously unexplored causes of calf mortality such as an variation in the efficiency of protein metabolism in breeders. This may lead to DNA tests to identify more efficient cattle."
Valera Vale has AI bulls involved in the David Johnston led Repronomics Project and large numbers of breeders in the Ben Hayes led Northern Genomics Project.
"We believe the work of these researchers will revolutionise the genetics of the beef cattle industry in the near future allowing rapid genetic gain in very hard to measure but extremely important reproductive traits. The success of this has already been well demonstrated in the dairy industry."
Valera Vale Droughtmasters has catalogued 150 bulls for the annual on property sale at Valera Vale, between Charleville and Augathella on Friday, September 30.
"The Valera Vale herd has been intensively selected for reproductive performance for decades and the progress made is demonstrated by the fact that not one of the 198 bulls tested for the Fitzroy Crossing (WA) and Valera Vale Sales and replacement sires has failed crushside or morphology semen evaluation. This is a very unusual result and testament to the genetics and careful preparation of the bulls."
The Valera Vale sale, starting from 11am, will be conducted by Nutrien and Elders and broadcast live through the Elite Livestock platform. The bulls have the usual carcase scans, a comprehensive vaccination program, dam performance history, growth data, and semen morphology results supplied, and are DNA sire verified and Horn Poll tested.
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