Angus thrives on the hills of Bundarbo Station | Earth

Raising Angus cattle that can handle the terrain, from the river bank to the hills, was an easy choice for Bernie Byrnes.

Mr Byrnes, managing director of BridgeLane, said that although Angus was already a staple at Bundarbo station, it made more sense to continue the race.

BridgeLane Group bought Bundarbo Station, 2,400 hectares on the Murrumbidgee River near Jugiong, in 2019. Mr Byrnes said he was lucky enough to buy a good line of young Angus cows from the previous owner.

“There is always a constant demand for Angus feeders,” he said.

“And Angus are quite adapted to the environment. It’s quite hilly, and they can handle the terrain and they can handle the seasons. It’s quite cold here in the winter and hot during the day in the summer, so having a breed that can comfortably managing both are crucial.”

“When we took over it was a very ordinary spring and the summer was terrible. Despite the season, the pregnancy test rate across the whole herd was very good and the cows really held their condition.

“It prepared us well when the fall holidays rolled around, and we’ve had a string of dream seasons since.

“We bought some heifers from outside to increase our numbers where they need to be. Some of them were Hazeldean blood heifers (stallion, Cooma) and we knew they would fit in well with the rest of our herd.”


Get ready for life in Bundarbo

Today, Bundarbo station in Jugiong manages around 1200 Angus herders, with a great infusion of Hazeldean blood.

“We try not to overcomplicate our sire selection, but focus on 400-day growth and great direct calving ease for sires to be bred to heifers,” said general manager Bernie Byrnes.

“We’re pretty light on the job and the ease of management we look for in our heifers is important, especially given our low culling rate due to herd rebuilding. We have great confidence in collecting data from Hazeldean.

“When we entered into a futures contract for some of our steers with a feedlot in southern Queensland in 2021, they asked for Breedplan’s numbers of the bulls we purchased.”

COMPLETED: Bundarbo station runs before trucking in December 2021, averaging 585kg.

Calving begins in July and calves are weaned in January when they weigh 280 kilograms. The weaning program is very important at Bundarbo, with an emphasis on preparing the weaned animals for life.

“It can be a difficult time depending on the season, but we are weaning for two to three weeks and trying to graze the weaned animals along the river by the end of March,” he said. “Our assistant manager, Ken McGuirk, leads the day-to-day stock movements and spends a lot of time educating the calves on weaning, working with the dogs and taking them to the yards multiple times. Investing that extra bit in the weaning makes it all the more enjoyable that you handle them later in life.”

The Bundarbo station has about 50ha of programmed pasture crops each year, and Mr Byrnes said this has worked well with the pasture improvement strategy.

“We have gained on average almost a kilogram a day since weaning, which we are quite happy with, considering the cold and wet winter,” he said. “In early spring, they really hit their webbing and were gaining 1.5-2 kg/day.”

It’s quite hilly and Angus can handle the terrain and handle the seasons. – Bernie Byrnes, Bundarbo Station, Jugiong

Mr Byrnes said growth rates were a real priority in the Bundarbo business.

“Although we are primarily a livestock operation, we aim to cultivate pasture and crops and give the steers the best opportunity to reach 500kg at 12 to 15 months, season permitting,” he said. -he declares. “Then we have to unload them and make room for the next crop of calves. If we compromise the spring feed base by carrying too many steers, it can really prevent us from re-calving the cows.”

GROWTH: Bundarbo Station Angus leads oat and rye grazing in October 2021.

GROWTH: Bundarbo Station Angus leads oat and rye grazing in October 2021.

Bundarbo uses Delta Livestock’s Cam Rosser to market his cattle, which mostly go to feedlots.

“We rely on Cam to present us with timely marketing options for our livestock, as well as to provide us with market opportunities when we have surplus feed, such as this year.”

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