Fourth generation beef producer, Stewart Moore, Mernot Herefords, Gloucester sources his replacement sires from the annual Whiteface sale at Glen Innes because of the wide range of bloodlines available.
“It is an attractive venue for buyers,” Mr Moore said.
“Leading genetics which are available within the breed are on offer and I get to have a good look at the bulls prepared for the sale.”
Mr Moore said he has purchased six bulls from the Glen Innes sale during the past few years, many from the draft offered by Angus and Eunice Vivers, Jindalee Herefords, Inverell. When considering the bulls on offer, Mr Moore assesses their structure, first and foremost.
“Feet are particularly important in our country which is quite steep and they have to work in big paddocks of about 200 hectares, so correct conformation is crucial,” he said.
“I then take into account Breedplan figures like EMA and IMF.”
They are the two most important Breedplan figures, according to Mr Moore because of their direct correlation with profitability.
“Our cattle must have good fat cover to allow them to survive through our tough seasons and still grow out to bullock weights,” he said. “Fertility and milking ability are also important traits I concentrate on which are also crucial for our operation.”
Hereford cattle have been bred on the 1214ha family property because they have proven themselves over the years according to Mr Moore.
“It takes a pretty tough animal to survive in our country,” he said.
“We see our Herefords perform through tough seasons as well as good ones and I like that ability to finish quickly when the season does break.”
Mr Moore also noted during the past five years of dry seasons, his females have still maintained a high calving percentage.
He currently joins 120 Hereford cows on his holding which is rugged country on the eastern fall of the Barrington Tops and is mainly native pasture. They are prepared for a spring calving because it coincides with the seasonal break and the steers are taken through to 30 month-old bullocks aiming at the pasture fed Jap Ox market.
“We get them to 330-380kg dressed weight depending on the season,” Mr Moore said.
He has a sentimental attachment to Herefords because of their long association with his family, but said the breed cannot rest of past glories. “We need to continue the improvement of our carcase characteristics if we are meet the increasing demand for quality meat,” Mr Moore said.
“Consumers are preferring premium cuts and are prepared to pay for them so we must breed Herefords which will satisfy their need.”