By Matt Sherrington, QCL
Middlemount producers Jack and Tara Dumma, along with Jack’s father John made the switch to using Simmental bulls over their Brahman breeding herd 18 months ago with impressive results.
The Dumma’s breed, background and fatten the progeny of their 2000 head female herd across 15,000 acres of undulating Buffel country at Emoh Ruo, Middlemount, and a further 45,000 acres at The Valley, Nebo.
Jack said they were already crossbreeding with the Brahmans but were seeking a new way to go about it.
“Simmental’s are the whole package, they provide hybrid vigour, more muscle, high yield saleable beef, more productive F1 females, and they can be turned off earlier.
The Dumma’s bought their first Simmental bulls from the Bradshaw family, Blue Dog, Wandoan, and heifers from the York family, Billa Park, Jackson.
“The Simmental females have great natural mothering ability, are fertile, hardy, have a nice structure, and produce progeny with a calm, even temperament.”
He said they’ve since purchased “quality genetics” from the Baldry family, Tennysonvale, Illabo, NSW, and from the Hopkins family, Wormbete, who’re also situated in Ilabo.
“We have some weaners on the ground now, and they look fantastic.”
Jack said their objective to breed a more efficient article to suit as many markets as possible. And that they’re also working hard to maintain the good reproductive capabilities of their females.
“At present we send bullocks to Borthwicks in Mackay and Swifts in Rockhampton at 300kg dress weight, off grass with no help.
“It’s been pretty dry here recently, it wasn’t a great wet season, but the cattle are still looking ok, and we’re still getting decent prices at the processors despite the prices coming back from their recent highs.”
He said their ambition moving forward is to breed high quality bulls in CQ using the genetics they’ve acquired in the past year and a half through their recently established stud operation Summa Simmentals.
“We’re trying to produce progeny that are ready to work and give commercial breeders younger heavier cattle while not limiting their reproductive options.”
Jack said they’re hoping to get a commercial dryland farming operation up and running in the next 12 to 18 months to produce sorghum but at present they’re waiting for rain.
“We’re also looking to develop a small on-farm feedlot to fatten the cattle once we establish the sorghum crop.
“This will give us the advantage of being able to turn off cattle quicker quicker. You get paid on weight by the processors, so that is something that we want to expedite.”