Farming the grass at Bungendore

Farming the grass at Bungendore


Beef News
Lindsay Davey at "Turalla", near Bungendore, loves working with cattle and says farming the grass is an important part of her management.

Lindsay Davey at "Turalla", near Bungendore, loves working with cattle and says farming the grass is an important part of her management.

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AT “Turalla” near Bungendore, Angus cattle have always been the primary enterprise for the Davey family.

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AT “Turalla” near Bungendore, Angus cattle have always been the primary enterprise for the Davey family.

In the family since 1895, “Turalla” is now run by Lindsay Davey, who has maintained the property’s heritage, but is now looking forward to updating the operation.

Mrs Davey runs 480 Angus breeding cows including about 70 replacement heifers.

Cattle are farmed on about 1215 hectares with rotational grazing common practice.

“I always try to farm the grass,” Mrs Davey said.

“I am constantly watching the grass because I don’t like to damage the root.

“If you farm the grass the cattle are more likely to look after themselves.”

Mrs Davey said one of her aims is to halve the size of some of the paddocks by putting more fences up.

“Some of the paddocks are quiet large - 465ha,” she said.

“It means you move them more often but you get better use of the grass.”

Phalaris was sown about 60 years ago, which used to be harvested, cleaned up and sold as seed.

Now it forms a good paddock feed base for the Turalla herd.

Cows are joined for about seven weeks except for the heifers which are joined a week earlier. 

“Six weeks is seen as the ideal, but I go for seven,” Mrs Davey said.

“They come into season every three weeks so it is better to have one week extra to get those the bull may have missed at the beginning –  you get an extra opportunity.”

Bulls are put out with the cows in early October to calve July/August.

At six months of age Mrs Davey selects her top steers and keeps them as backgrounders.

She sells the remainder through the annual Goulburn weaner sale in April.

This year she returned $910 for her weaner steers - relevant to the cattle market in April.

For those steers heading to the market, Mrs Davey always aims to get them to 280 to 300 kilogram mark.

“If they averaged at about 300 that would be fantastic, but that is not always possible because of the season,” Mrs Davey said.

“Recently we have had no rain in any growing season, it keeps coming on the tail end. 

“It has been wonderful rain, but it is two months too late.”

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