Partnership with consistent results

Partnership with consistent results

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The quality annual drafts of weaner cattle from the Deepdale Seaton Park Partnership are the result of the different strengths of the partners and knowledge of cattle breeding.

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The quality annual drafts of weaner cattle from the Deepdale Seaton Park Partnership are the result of the different strengths of the partners and knowledge of cattle breeding.

The partnership, with land at Tallarook and Mansfield, expects to consign 170 to 180 steer weaner calves to the Wodonga weaner sale in the Corcoran Parker pens.

Steve Clarke said the business was a self-replacing breeding operation with the occasional "opportunity buy".

"We prefer autumn calving around here, we've tried both but the seasons don't allow spring-calvers to be finished early enough," Mr Clarke said.

"We put our bulls out in the middle of May, mark our calves in June and sell them in January."

He said the toughest part of the season was through to the autumn.

"We have a lot of cattle away on leased blocks which means we don't have to hand feed a lot," he said.

"Mansfield is having a great season this year and the cattle are all looking good.

"We've got calves up in some of the hillier country.

"The calves seem to thrive and grow, the more they eat the more they walk and develop."

He said the herd was generally based on Witherswood bloodlines with some infusion of The Glen, Anvil and Riga.

"We buy every bull from the high-end performance all the way through," he said.

"We don't have any problems buying bulls with high figures.

"We think those cattle have the potential to grow better than average and people at the other end get more bang for their buck when they go to processors.

"We have repeat buyers and the feedback was very positive."

With the dispersal of the Witherswood stud, they were looking at future options and had also bought extra bulls at the final Witherswood bull sale.

They go through bulls each year to keep the bull battery young.

Mr Clarke said they ran a tight calving to ensure more even weights of calves and a more even draft at sale time.

"Anything that doesn't get in calf, including heifers, are sold; we don't give anything a second chance," he said.

The cattle were handled often.

At weaning the herd was put through the yards and the calves yard weaned.

The retained heifers were also run through the yards regularly leading to quiet cows when they were in the herd.

He said quiet cattle meant they were more relaxed when they were mustered, yarded, drafted and trucked.

When they got to a feedlot the cattle did not panic having people around.

Surplus heifers were sold for export in recent years, but this year they will retain the entire heifer drop.

"I think we will get a line of heifers that we can get replacement breeders out of them or value-add to them down the track," he said.

"I like to keep our cow numbers up and the age of our cows down."

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