With 2019 about to finish, we can only say that we are looking forward to a better season in 2020. Presently we are on a shade over 200 mm for the year, a very low rainfall for the second year running.
However, we have ended the year on a high note with a cull cow by Yamburgan Coolabah topping the Finley Prime Cattle Sale on December 18. Despite a drop in prices, this big cow still came in at $1634, weighing 760 kgs at 215 c/kg. Other Toogimbie cull cows also sold extremely well at Deniliquin on December 4, achieving the second top price. 5 cows sold at 235 c/kg weighing an average 734 kg, averaging $1724.90 a head.
None of these cows had seen green grass for months, yet had maintained excellent condition without supplementary feeding.
We are now well into our calvng and it is heart warming to see those beautiful little calves so active and strong. Our A.I. heifers have produced some top class calves by Sprys Primrose Buddy and Sprys Exclusive and we will be very interested to see how they grow out.
Last week Liam Cardile scanned all our heifers and yearling bulls. We were very pleased with the results and believe our young bulls and heifers would not be out of place in any top herd in the country. The Belmore Northern Legend K232 bulls scanned exceptionally well with some possessing breed leading EMA as well as high IMF. Our top heifers showed evidence of the herd’s genetic improvement with real improvement evident in IMF throughout the entire drop.
We have other excellent A.I. bulls by Futurity Knight, Eloora Baker and Eionmor Ultra. We plan to put them to work very soon!
2018 was one of our dryest years on record and unfortunately 2019 is not shaping up to be any better. In the last few weeks, we have had to move 200 of our cows onto grain and the rest will be following shortly if we don’t get rain soon.
Despite the dry conditions, our positive preg test results were above 90%, with one mob testing 100% positive. Our challenge is now to hang onto those beautiful, fertile, structurally sound cows which have been fertility tested over more than 20 years.
Our male/steer weaners are also being completely hand fed and we hope to get the steers through to a sufficient weight for the JBS Thousand Guineas intake.
Let’s just say that we are all hoping for rain soon!
We wish everyone a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
The weather has been extremely hot here and we are looking forward to the next cool change which is not in sight at present!
Our dryland lucerne has responded to the 30mm of December rain and we have started weaing calves.
At least we will have some good paddocks for the calves to go onto!
We are very honoured to be announced in this week’s Weekly Times as a contender in the Weekly Times Coles 2018 Farmer of the year. Thanks to James Wagstaff on his great article featuring Amanda and the Shorthorns. The article highlighted the high marbling of our cattle and the sustainability of our pastures even in these very tough times.
We are pleased to have finished our A.I. heifer program this week. 92 heifers were inseminated to a range of top Shorthorn sires including Sprys Primrose’s Buddy and Futurity Kokoda. We are hoping for a high success rate and a tight heifer calving next year.
We are very pleased that the latest Shorthorn Group EBVs published by ABRI have identified our home bred bull Jesse James J94 as a very high marbling bull indeed. With the scanning data from his 2017 heifers now available, Jesse James has gone to the top of the breed for IMF at +1.1%. Of sires born in 2013, he is now equal top with The Grove Gigabytes J0837 for IMF.
Not only that, but Jesse James possesses great temperament and structure with excellent feet and does well on literally ‘the smell of an oily rag’. He is also a great heifer bull.
We secured an excellent semen collection in this bull and will use him both as an A.I. and walking sire this season.
Well we are home from our holiday to the coast and we are just waiting for the heifers to start calving. It will be a very exciting calving this year as we are expecting more than 30 A.I. calves. The heifers are looking great so let’s hope for a stress free calving!
Unfortunately we are still in a pattern of very dry weather. In fact, it is one of the driest starts to a year on record in the Riverina. As such, it is a battle to reach feedlot weights for the steers but we are in there trying. It is a tribute to our easy doing stock that they are holding their condition well. In the hope of a season turn around, we put some young bulls out with the autumn herd. Hopefully the resultant calves will be born into a more favourable season!
We were delighted to hear that our home bred bull, Toogimbie Key Largo K36, won the Sire’s Progeny Group at this year’s Sydney Show. Moreover, his daughter, K.O. KL Duchess, owned by the Ridleys of Condoblin, won the Shorthorn Female, over 12 and not over 15 months. Key Largo was purchased by the Nero stud of Keith and Vicki Ridley as a yearling and has been heavily used in their herd. We still have his dam, Toogimbie Giggles Rosebud, a daughter of Toogimbie Cardiff C6. She is a fine upstanding cow who produces an excellent calf every year.