Producing premium stock for the domestic trade is where Alan and Carol Luscombe place their emphasis when breeding and finishing cattle on the mid-north coast property, “Ivoryvale”, Gloucester.
Reaching their required standard is where the Limousin breed comes into it’s own, according to Alan Luscombe.
“Limousin bulls are giving us the type of vealers which satisfy our customers needs,” he said.
“They are early maturing and finish with the right amount off fat cover on carcases with great rumps.”
Mr Luscome also cited body length and temperament as other traits he admires in the Limousin breed.
The couple join 150 breeders on the 485 hectares they have operated in partnership for the past 21 years, and have used Limousin bulls as terminal sires since that time.
Replacement cows are purchased and the Mr Luscombe buys first cross cows in preference for their hybrid vigor and productive maternal traits.
“I like black baldy cows and we join them to black Limousin bulls,” Mr Luscombe said.
“We used to buy apricot-coloured bulls but the market prefers cattle with black skin.”
Irrespective of skin colour, the vealers bred by the Luscombe partnership, have “good bodies” which are high yielding when hung up, and are what the local trade is seeking, according to Mr Luscombe.
“We aim at the domestic market and produce cattle weighing 350 kilograms which will dress at 220kg,” he said. “The calves are weaned at eight months and the fed for two-three months to finish them for the trade.”
The management program is working for Mr and Mrs Luscombe.
During the 2017 Wingham Beef Week, a steer entered by the Luscombe’s in the unled steer or heifer over the hook, 250-299.5kg hot standard carcase weight (HSCW) was judged winner.
Mr Luscombe uses the full range of options when marketing his cattle, and recently had great success in selling steers and heifers to restockers through AuctionsPlus.
“We averaged $1150 at eight months and straight off their mothers,” he said. “We normally yard wean, but prices at the moment are very good and we can now put something back into the place.”