A Western Australian vealer producer who has consistently used Hereford bulls from the same seedstock source for five decades is reaping the dividends.
Graeme Payne, Karridale, has used both polled and horned bulls bought from Rob and Heather Francis, Yallaroo Herefords, Busselton, to join to his Hereford/Friesian and Angus/Friesian 350 cow herd for almost 50 years. Graeme has moved to replacing a portion of the herd with 100 purebred Hereford females.
Last November, a semi load of 38 Hereford and crossbred vealers returned an average of $2400 at nine months of age and averaging 258kg carcase weight. The heaviest topped at 530kg liveweight.
Graeme buys replacement females as springing heifers from the annual F1 female sale at Boyanup and joins them to Hereford and Simmental bulls, with the progeny sold direct mostly to Woolworths.
Graeme clocked up five decades of buying Yallaroo bulls at this year’s WALSA and Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale at Brunswick, WA, on March 22, and reckons he has invested in around 100 Yallaroo bulls over the years.
He was impressed with the performance and temperament of the Hereford bulls right from the start.
He has been impressed with the growth of the purebred calves with steers weighing in at 230-240 carcase weight at nine months of age, along with the docility.
“I go for length, muscle, a good hindquarter and temperament when selecting Hereford bulls,” he said.
The cattle are run in a 950mm rainfall zone on improved pastures.
Rob and Heather Francis have amassed over five decades of selling Hereford bulls to not only WA clients but NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, plus semen sales to New Zealand. Rob, 77, founded the stud at age 21.
Their first sale was a multi-vendor, multi-breed bull sale, Beef Week, at the Perth showgrounds where over 600 bulls of all breeds were offered.
The couple then moved on to the Hereford sponsored sale at Kojonup followed by their own on-property sale and finally offering 60 per cent of their bulls at the Supreme Bull Sale at Brunswick with the balance sold by private treaty.
The Supreme sale is the largest multi-vendor sale of Bos taurus bulls in WA with a diverse catalogue of 103 bulls representing seven European and British breeds and 18 vendors.
Overall, the 2023 sale grossed $780,000 and averaged $9070. The Hereford offering had the highest average across all breeds of $11,500 with 18 bulls sold from the 26 offered by Yallaroo, House, Greenland and Quaindering.
The homozygous polled and 886kg son of Battalion Bomber N31, Yallaroo Superman S14, topped the sale at $30,000, bought by repeat buyer Eddie Wedge, Gingin.
Yallaroo had a complete clearance of 13 bulls and overall average of $13,308.
Rob Francis said there had been increased demand for Hereford bulls from Angus herds wanting to take advantage of hybrid vigour in the Black Baldy progeny.
The sale’s second top price went to Yallaroo with long-time client Matt Della Golla, Tonebridge, paying $20,000 for Yallaroo Stormboy S37.
Mr Della Golla said the Yallaroo cattle’s natural doability and raw scan data was consistently at the top of the industry each year.
He said there was strong enquiry for Hereford and Baldy commercial females and lot feeders were showing they were happy to mix Hereford genetics into their purchases after they sold weaners at the Boyanup weaner fixtures.