Stock Journal

Functional female focus for 3R

FIRST BULL SALE: 3R will offer 40 12 to 18-month-old bulls on September 14 at Goonoo Goonoo Station. All bulls are bred with the commercial producer and Australian beef industry in mind.

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COMMERCIALLY-relevant, functional cattle are the backbone of the 3R Livestock business, with a strong maternal focus key to the stud's breeding program.

The NSW Angus stud was established in 2018 after many years of stud and commercial breeding by business partners Geoff Birchnell and Tony Haggarty.

"We both felt that there was an opportunity to develop a stud program that would create real value for stud and commercial producers and integrate exceptional genetics into our own large scale commercial herd," Mr Birchnell said.

"Our objective is to identify and produce commercially-relevant beef genetics - at scale," he said.

Maternal traits in focus

To build their foundation herd, the 3R found the Texas and Clunie Range Angus programs, based at Warialda and Wallangra, had genetics which aligned with their breeding goals.

"These programs had proven commercial relevance at scale and the strong maternal cow families we were seeking to establish our herd," Mr Birchnell said.

"We are firm believers in cow families and the critical role maternal cow lines play in a long term, quality breeding enterprise," he said.

"The drought of 2018-19 created a once in a lifetime opportunity to access donors and female lines that were proven elite.

"We aimed at developing six primary cow families within the 3R herd with the Texas lines of Pride, Undine, Toque and Omnia and the Clunie Range lines of Mayflower and Princess.

"The strength of these proven female lines will underpin our breeding program going forward and allow us to use selected sires in our program with a high degree of confidence.

"Within each line there is a matriarch or highly proven donor and often the line contains a number of daughters or close descendants."

Among the outstanding donors is Texas Pride E030, who was purchased for $60,000 in 2020, in what is believed to be Australian record price for a mature cow.

"Likewise, the Clunie Range Mayflower D124 donor has cast a tremendous influence across the breed and stands today in the 3R herd alongside many daughters and granddaughters.

"True to 3R's focus on commercial functionality, these cows were purchased at 10 and 11 years of age, signifying to the stud that the key profit driver, longevity will continue to be a key trait for their breeding program."

QUALITY FEMALES: The 3R Breeding focus is set on proven maternal lines.

Scaling the business

Proven genetics are critical in the stud's sire selections, with 3R using leading sires and donors from Australia and the US in artificial insemination and embryo transfer programs, which has allowed the team to scale up the program in a short amount of time.

"In 2021 we implanted just under 500 embryos and in 2022 we are on track to increase this program to more than 600," Mr Birchnell said.

"The scale of this program provides a lot of opportunities to monitor and analyse genetics. The ET calves are all born and raised to weaning in an entirely commercial setting," he said.

The commercial focus is key to 3R Livestock's breeding objectives - to produce an animal that can function in a commercial setting and deliver a profitable outcome to a producer.

To achieve this, the stud has focused on in balanced selection of attributes across all traits and has typically aimed for the top 20 to 30 per cent of EBV (estimated breeding value) ranges.

In terms of end product, they are aiming for a short to mid-fed carcase with marble score of 3+ on the hook and a desirable amount of muscle.

"For every steer calf there is a heifer calf and we know the critical importance of fat and muscling as energy stores when times get tough.

"On farm, we aim to produce cows that don't compromise on fertility, structural integrity, disposition and maternal performance culminating in longevity of production."

EXCEPTIONAL GENETICS: The drought of 2018-19 allowed 3R to construct a nucleus herd of elite breeding donors from the Texas and Clunie Range Angus programs.

An impressive stud team

The stud founders are assisted by Geoff's father, David Birchnell, who primarily conducts the flushing programs, and the Goonoo Goonoo Pastoral team who manage the various properties. Well-known stud cattlemen, David Bondfield and David Smith, have been advising the stud in its establishment phase.

"These cattlemen bring an incredible depth of knowledge, experience and wisdom to the 3R business," Mr Birchnell said.

High quality Angus bulls, females on offer

On offer in the September 14 sale at the iconic Goonoo Goonoo Station, south of Tamworth, will be 40 yearling Angus bulls and more than 300 commercial PTIC females.

Goonoo Goonoo is a well-known property, being the birthplace of the Australian Agricultural Co (AACO) cattle operations, and the 3R sale will be the first stud cattle sale at the property in more than 30 years.

It's the first public auction for the stud, which has previously sold bulls privately, and many of the 2022 sale bulls are the product of 3R's initial ET program. Feature lots include sons of leading donors such as Pride E030, as well as the Mayflower, Undine and Princess cow families.

Sires represented in the offering include S Powerpoint WS 5503, Millah Murrah Quixote Q96, Baldridge 38 Special and an impressive group of first season sons of herd sire Milwillah Power Broker Q11.

Also on offer are approximately 300 high quality commercial Angus females, which have been artificially inseminated to the highly anticipated US sires Sitz Intuition 9929 and Mill Brae Benchmark 9016.

"Both sires were selected for their calving ease, growth, carcase and most notably, their maternal attributes," Mr Birchnell said.

"Benchmark was a direct import to 3R from Montana Ranch and Schaff Angus Valley and is creating a strong legacy in the US," he said.

The heifers are bred from recognised Angus genetics from quality commercial herds and were selected for their weight for age and quality with all weighing in excess of 420kg at joining.

The on property sale is on September 14, beginning at 12pm, with bidding also available in via livestream on AuctionsPlus.

The 3R team invites you to our inaugural sale and inspections are welcome by contacting Geoff Birchnell on 0412 425 949.

This is branded content for 3R Livestock.