Farm Online

Sherrys firmly believe pressure creates gems

Fixed joining: The Sherrys join their Wahroonga Belmont Reds maiden heifers as yearlings for a twelve-week period on their Clarke Creek-based property in Queensland.

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Aiming to improve profitability in not only their own business but also the customers who use their bulls is the core vision for Wahroonga Belmont Reds stud principals Rob and Jane Sherry.

Mr Sherry said with analysts reporting that 70 per cent of a beef breeding enterprises profit comes from getting a live calf on the ground and through to weaning.

"That is why fertility is the main driver in our seedstock operation. By putting more pressure on our breeding females, their progeny will then perform for the customers that use them," he said.

The Sherrys join their maiden heifers as yearlings for a 12-week period on their Clarke Creek-based property in Queensland.

"With the aid of an ultrasound scanner, we can then detect those heifers that have conceived early and focus on these. Remaining heifers are rescanned five to six weeks after the bulls are removed."

Mr Sherry said results from their most recent joining saw that 73pc conceived in the first six weeks.

"This is a satisfying result given that the spring/summer season at Wahroonga has been very light with 220mm falling for the season in mainly small falls."

For the majority of the time that Sherrys have been operating in the seedstock business they've seen below to well below seasons. Despite this they're now seeing heifers calving from mothers that where in the same position and are remaining in nuclease herd.

"This is a testament to the inherent fertility of the Belmont Red breed along with their ability to handle tough dry conditions. The breeds ability to produce in a variety of conditions is why we along with many other people choose these cattle."

The Wahroonga males are run on grass with a supplement of molasses, urea, DCP and a DSM product.

Key traits: The Belmont Reds inherent fertility and ability to handle the dry are crucial for the Sherrys.

"We keep them in as big a group as we can so when recording and submitting data to Breedplan the information can be analysed across the entire cohort to achieve the maximum genetic variation and allow us to select accordingly."

Young bulls and heifers are recorded for flight time at weaning, and 200-day and 400-day weights are collected just before joining in January. Bulls also have their scrotal size and carcase data recorded then.

"Once we have results back from Breedplan we then start making some firm decisions about who stays and who goes."

The Sherrys breeders are pregnancy tested annually and those that have failed to conceive are culled.

"We weight record after each weaning to form a mature cow weight, which generates a lot of discussion as to which are too big or small.

Mr Sherry said mating dates and subsequent calving dates are recorded along with those that fail to produce a calf are, with this information used to form the most powerful EBV there is "days to calving".

"Recording and then submitting all the data, not only from the bulls themselves, but from all the breeders builds a picture as to their genetic merit. This allows the bull buyer to have to confidence in the bull they choose will give them a predicable result that will take their herd forward."

The Sherrys will offer 24 Wahroonga Belmont Reds bulls at the National Belmont Red Sale, at CQLX Gracemere, on September 5.

This is branded content for Wahroonga Belmont Reds.