For Anne and Douglas Kennedy from “Cumberoona”, Binda, downsizing from a 10,926 hectare property near Narrandera to 1580ha has been a dramatic change and taken them in a new direction of crossing Herefords, which make up their base of their program, with Red Angus.
In three years, the Kennedys transformed “Cumberoona” into a full Hereford and Red Angus breeding program, using Red Angus bulls over pure Hereford and Hereford/Red Angus females while also continuing to produce pure Herefords to maintain their base.
The combination is far exceeding their expectations and is producing a better production line of cattle back to the feedlot.
Long-term manager of “Cumberoona”, Ken McCallum, said in choosing the current cross, they had a product that also suited the European Union (EU), and as such, had become EU accredited.
“The Kennedys’ expertise has brought the production under the guidelines of EU accreditation, meaning it’s about having the NLIS (National Livestock Identification System) database under control and keeping proper records on treatment plans,” Mr McCallum said, adding that the EU accreditation could bring a premium of as much as 20 per cent at the saleyards.
“Cumberoona” currently runs 500 Hereford and Hereford-cross cows and keeps a portion of the heifers each year as replacement breeders.
Mrs Kennedy said some people may ask “why cross Red Angus over Hereford”.
“The two breeds have many beneficial qualities and when combined produce a beautiful product,” Mrs Kennedy said.
She said temperament was fundamental, and a trait in which the Hereford excelled.
“It is a game changer producing the best quality carcase, growth outcome, fertility and a better return at the feedlot,” she said.
“This, combined with the easy-care breed of the Red Angus, which produces good calving and maintains solid growth rates, produces excellent carcase quality and ... is ideal for Australia’s conditions.”