It’s not very often a Stud can claim that they have bred the Number 1 Stud Angus Bull in Australia. But’s that’s exactly what Andrew Bryant from Clunes Crossing Angus did last year.
The stud bull breading game has changed over the years and technology and data has lead the way for accurate genetic testing results that commercial farmers can trust. Science has met farming.
No longer do savvy angus commercial farmers buy stud bulls based on ‘gut feeling’ or how ‘fat the bull looks on the sales day’. With the new generation of EBV and genomic testing the guess work has been taken out of the purchasing process. Commercial farmers can take comfort in fitting an accurate sire to their female herd requirements. You want a low birth weight bull for your heifers? You can now get it. You want high 250 day growth as your selling weaners? You can now get it. Pretty much any trait or combination of traits is available at the touch of a button.
We caught up with Andrew Bryant, a relatively small SE Queensland stud Angus farmer to find out how he has achieved the number 1 ranking in Australia for his bull M13.
How long have you been breeding Angus and why Angus?
Prior to breeding Angus we had Brahman cattle, we wanted to make the most of the small 350 Acre property and the ‘price per head’ we could achieve. Brahman for us and our property just didn’t cut it. We found them hard to handle. As a small family farm we wanted the ability to spend more time with our cattle, we like the animal husbandry side of the farm and Angus are easy to work with.
Where did you buy your first cattle from?
We understood that we need great genetics to breed the best cattle possible. We started in 2008 with a foundation herd of females from Te Mania (VIC) and Hazeldean (NSW). So we had great cattle from the get go. I believe we would not have had the ability to breed a bull like M13 if we had not have started with these genetics.
How do you choose your genetic breed plan?
I really like working with numbers and I enjoy the research that goes into matching and improving genetic lines. Its satisfying to work with a herd of females and work on improving their progeny by matching them with a sire that has both complimentary and improved EBV’s.
You mention EBV’s, What would you say to people who don’t believe in the accuracy EBV’s?
I understand that EBV’s vary from breed to breed. We are very fortunate that Angus Australia does a great job of managing all stud cattle data. With the recent introduction of the ultimate testing being, genomic testing on top of the EBV data there should be no doubt as to the genetic score and ability of all animals in the Angus Australia database who have undergone this testing. I think producers who choose to ignore this data do so at their own peril. As far as I’m concerned, why wouldn’t you want all the information you could possibly have on the bull you want to purchase. It can help with beef sales and can impact replacement heifers in your cow herd.
Was breeding M 13 the best farming moment for you?
Yes, its been 10 years in the making ! It was a great feeling to realise that I’ve been doing this for 10 years and pretty much hit one of my big farming goals. M 13 is the perfect bull, perfect in every way. It was a bitter sweet moment when I sold him. He was sold at 13 months old, as soon as his figures hit the Angus Australia website the phone was ringing with a handful of large Australian studs that wanted to buy him. M 13 is now based in an AI collection centre and his seman is being sold globally. The good news is that I know that our bulls are improving every year and this year we have a quite a few bulls that are equal or better. We can’t keep them all and will be selling them at our upcoming Angus bull sale.
If you want a chance to bid on a Clunes Crossing Bull. Andrew Bryant will be auctioning a range of Angus bulls at the Southern Downs Angus Bull Sale at 1pm on 18th August 2018 at The Warwick Sales Yards.