Farm Online

Brangus breed confidence soaring

Bright future: Triple B Brangus's Lindsay Barlow says it's an exciting time for the Brangus breed as more science is incorporated into the management and production of the next generation of breeding stock. Photo: Kent Ward

This is branded content for the Australian Brangus Cattle Association.

From seasoned breeders through to young producers establishing their studs, confidence is high among those involved with the Brangus breed.

Godwin Cattle Company's Sid and Tricia Godwin and their children Annalee, Sylvia, Riley and Jared, have utilised Brangus bulls for more than 25 years for commercial production. The family run their Brangus-cross herd across Tanderra and Welcome, south of Springsure, Silverleigh, south of Banana, and Hamilton and Red Range, east of Taroom, Queensland.

It was with the support of her family that Annalee Godwin registered her Brangus stud, Black Label Brangus in 2018. The breed's inherent hardiness came to the fore immediately upon the establishment of the stud, just as drought conditions set in.

"My maiden heifers held their own without special treatment. They all went into calf that year, and all calved successfully in the dry," Ms Godwin said.

While she's still building her Black Label product, she has been sponsoring and showing Brangus crossbred steers at junior cattle events.

"I hope that by raising awareness for the breed's benefits at junior shows it'll spark further interest in the breed in that community, as attending such events is where my stud ambitions sprung from. I also want to enter steers in the Brangus Carcase Competition in the future," she said.

Ms Godwin has found DNA parent verification testing to be a useful tool while establishing her stud.

"It provides me with certainty about which calves belong to which cows and bulls so that I can repeat those successful mating pairings again. I can also see which pairings aren't working."

While she's yet to use Breedplan to log data, Ms Godwin sees it as a valuable tool to delve deeper into an animal's background.

"Ideally we all want a low-maintenance herd, so being able to check information on ease of calving, low birth weight, 200-, 400- and 600-day weight gains is valuable."

While all progeny produced in the Black Label herd have been retained, this year will mark her first foray as a stud sale vendor.

"I'll aim to offer bulls to the Rockhampton Brangus Sale. I'm excited, but nervous at the same time."

Ms Godwin highly values the feedback she receives from her parents, brothers and sister in relation to the direction of the stud.

"We all have to work them and look at them. It's a team effort."

She believes there is a lot of untapped potential to explore with the breed.

"I want to be a part of that growth and change."

Together with his father Barry, and brother Clancy, Henry Sinnamon, has been breeding Brangus in a stud capacity for 11 years, through the establishment of Kulkyne Brangus, at the family's property, Tin Hut, at Jackson. Prior to forming the stud, the Sinnamons had been breeding Brangus commercially for a decade.

"The breed appeals to us for its fertility and doing ability in tough seasons, while maintaining great marketability for the domestic feedlot sector," Mr Sinnamon said.

The formation of the Kulkyne Stud initially came about due to a desire to breed bulls for the family's commercial herd.

"I started getting enquiries from our neighbouring properties as well as local businesses. I caught the bug, and it went from there. I enjoy the challenge of breeding good cattle, while improving our herd genetics."

He said they're now selecting more and more on horned/polled genetics, as they want to breed more polled cattle, especially for the commercial herd.

"By using Breedplan we've been enhancing our EBVs. Our low birth weight and high growth weight have really improved since we started utilising genomics information. We'll continue to evolve the stud with a focus on genetics to breed a better style of animal."

Mr Sinnamon will offer 10 bulls at the Roma Brangus Sale, where Kulkyne enjoyed a prosperous day last year, with their four bulls averaging $14,750, topping at $24,000 for the Beef 2021 Brangus Junior Champion Male, Kulkyne Queensland.

The Barlow family run Triple B Brangus, the largest Brangus stud in Australia, established by the late Robert Barlow. Lindsay and Fiona Barlow, run their stud and commercial Brangus herds across Araluen, Namoi and Glendarra, in Dingo, central Queensland. The family introduced Brangus close to 45 years ago and have been breeding stud Brangus, for 32 years.

"We admire the maternal values of the Brangus, as well as their ability to fit any market, and all environmental conditions. We also value the breed's fertility and carcase quality," Mr Barlow said. He said the progression from commercial Brangus production to establishing the stud came about naturally.

"We also enjoy the challenge of breeding commercially relevant Brangus sires."

The Triple B stud herd is 100 per cent DNA recorded.

"The generational data we've recorded for coat colour, horn status, 100pc correct pedigree, and in the future, genomics, provides our commercial and stud clients with great confidence when they're selecting the animals they want to purchase from us."

The stud herd is also 100pc Breedplan recorded.

"This allows us to work towards breeding a line of cattle with a very balanced set of data for important traits like growth, carcase and fertility."

He said for many years most Brangus breeders have been using some form of imported genetics.

"I think this is why more people are buying Brangus bulls domestically as opposed to importing genetics from the US in recent times."

This year, the Barlows will be hosting their 10th annual on-property Triple B Brangus Production Sale at Araluen, where they'll again be presenting 80 bulls and 100 commercial females.

"It's an exciting time for us and the Brangus breed as we work towards incorporating more science, such as DNA testing, into the management and production of our next generation of breeding stock."

This is branded content for the Australian Brangus Cattle Association.