Since assuming the ownership of Warrack-district property “Westral” in the state’s far west, Ian and Donna Spratling, along with their four teenage daughters, have been on the long path to increasing the livestock and infrastructure capacity on their 600 hectare grazing property.
Located between Casterton and Dergholm, Mr Spratling said that in the initial years the grind to improve Westral was rather difficult but with recently improved beef, lambs and wool commodity returns the task has become more enjoyable and more manageable.
Currently Westral’s mixed livestock enterprise farms prime lambs derived from a flock of self-replacing Composite ewes, a self-replacing Merino flock and a cattle breeding herd of 70 Banquet-blood Angus cows, which Mr Spratling plans to lift to 100 breeders within the next two to three years.
Mr Spratling said he purchased the core of his breeding herd several years ago from a retiring cattle breeder who had spent years investing in genetics.
That decision despite the expense he said has considerably shortened the time he thought would be need to achieve the quality of females they desired as they plan to retain more of their own bred heifers each year, which this breeding season were sired by Boonaroo Angus bulls.
Mr Spratling said that after experiencing another very wet winter – the second in succession – his March//April-drop calves after coming on exceptionally well.
“The season here on Westral is tracking a little later than normal, with the our predominantly rye-grass based pastures only coming into seed as the warmer weather kicks in,” Mr Sprating said.
Westral has nominated 40 Angus steers for the Elders Casterton weaner sale on Thursday, January 11, starting at 9:30 am with a heifer line to sold in Casterton’s January 18 heifer sale.