Crossbreeding with Angus pays in feeder focused production

Crossbreeding with Angus pays in feeder focused production

Beef
Aa

Whenever Hugh and Clare Bainger, Hillcrest Pastoral Company, Avenue Range, source sire stock they heed sage advice imparted over the past 45 years.

WHENEVER Hugh and Clare Bainger, Hillcrest Pastoral Company, Avenue Range, source sire stock they heed sage advice imparted over the past 45 years.

Aa

"We are crossbreeders," Mr Bainger said, matter-of-factly.

"We've been listening to the Primary Industry department people for 45 years and all of their research and development clearly indicates that if you crossbreed you get a better product.

"So we do, and we have our supporters.

"We've had discussions with Teys and Princess Royal Station (Feedlot) and they want us to continue with the crossbreeding program that we have which is about thirds - one-third Herefords, one-third Shorthorn and one-third Angus."

Hillcrest Pastoral Co, Mr Bainger said, was a purely commercial operation spread across six properties in and around Lucindale with Libby Creek, one-time president of Angus Australia, as a key member of the leadership team.

They maintain a breeding herd of about 3000 head, keeping up to 700 heifers as replacement breeders while selling any "left-over" heifers and the steers.

RELATED READING:

"Our total production focus is for the EU," Mr Bainger said.

"The quality assurance system you have to go through to comply with EU accreditation is a fairly high benchmark and pretty well gets you into every market.

"We also do the MSA standards if we are selling prime cattle into the market.

Good pick: Libby Creek is the woman behind-the-scenes helping guide Hillcrest Pastoral Company, according to producer Hugh Bainger.

Good pick: Libby Creek is the woman behind-the-scenes helping guide Hillcrest Pastoral Company, according to producer Hugh Bainger.

"The focus for us is on good muscle, good, sound structure and easy calving. We are totally commercially-focussed - it's about making the most cents from each kilogram of meat we produce.

"Each of our farms has its own cow herd, for want of a better description, and each farm has its own bull supply.

"The bulls we would get from Nanni Digiorgio (Sterita Park, Lucindale) would go over Hereford-Shorthorn-Angus cross cows that might be black baldy and they may also go over some Hereford-Shorthorn red cows so long as there has been some black Angus in the cross.

"We get a good animal with good traits and that can mean a good carcase, which is the purpose."

Apart from the cattle, Hillcrest also runs about 2000 sheep at Conkar Plains, Lucindale, just as Mr Bainger's dad did in his day.

The Baingers spend six months of every year in the English countryside but enjoy returning for the warmer months to their properties, which cover nearly 6000 hectares.

"It's flat and can get waterlogged. Last year was a fantastic one for us because we had four inches less rain than we would normally get and while you think that's a drought and that feed will be short come March, it was good because it meant things could dry out a bit," he said.

"Just a while back we bought a block from our neighbour because our son has partly retired from his preferred profession which is teaching people to surf.

"But he has decided to come home and he will be the fourth generation of Bainger to work the land. It's the first sort of diversification that we've had.

"I have never subscribed to the fact of spreading things, even in tough times we stuck at it."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by