TWO Tarcombe Hereford sires have been snapped up by global genetic giants this year, as a relentless focus on performance recording pays off for the stud.
The saying 'without data you're just another bloke with an opinion' rings true to Tim Hayes, who manages the 1600-hectare Ruffy-based operation, alongside his dad Rob Hayes, and their respective partners Cindy and Jan.
This focus on objective measurements has catapulted the stud to the top of its game, now represented in Herefords Australia's Super Sire program, and this year preparing to go global with semen sales of Tarcombe McLaren Q203 and Tarcombe Nockout R064 that are bound for Europe and New Zealand.
The Hayes family run 300 registered Hereford cows and 2500 Merino breeding ewes across the granite, sandy loam property which records about an 800-millimetre annual rainfall.
About 50 of the male calves are kept annually as bulls, with the rest marked and sold, or fattened at Tarcombe to 600 kilograms liveweight and offloaded before they are two-years-old.
Each autumn the Hayes hold an on-property auction, selling 40 bulls and 33 pregnancy-tested-in-calf heifers, with the remainder sold at the Wodonga Hereford National or privately.
With a humble attitude and a passion for objective performance data, Tarcombe Herefords has an unwavering focus on calving ease, carcase traits and fertility.
ABS Global is contracted to the semen marketing rights of Q203, and have received interest from breeders in the UK and NZ, attracted to the sire's BreedPlan figures.
"I have always been a believer that you think you're good then you should give it away because what are you striving for?" Mr Hayes said.
"I don't think Q203 is a perfect bull but he has a lot to offer."
The son of Wirruna McLaren M175 AI) (PP), out of Tarcombe Last Day M174 (AI) (ET) (P), does have a lot to offer, reaching the breed's top 1 per cent for 2019-drop sires for both calving ease daughters at +9.6, intramuscular fat (IMF) at 2.5pc and carcase at +71kg.
"He's good; he is where we are trying to breed them," he said.
"I work on the three calving traits - calving ease, gestation length and birth weight.
"His early growth is fairly high but not extreme, and then he is strong in his carcase traits with big eye muscle area (EMA) (at +6.7) and fat cover."
He has been artificially inseminated to the entire 2020-drop of Tarcombe heifers, due to calve in March, and is currently at ABS Global for semen collection with genetics orders for Europe and NZ.
"He will have a fairly big impact in our own herd and there have been quite a few studs that have already used him," he said.
"In terms of marketing, it is a big thing to get our name out there in other countries and it isn't something that we had properly considered before."
Equally as impressive is R064 BreedPlan's figures, ranked in the top 10pc of the breed for 200, 400 and 600-day weight, and top 5pc for IMF at +2.2, with semen marketing contracted to Alta Genetics.
The son of Yavenvale Nockout N312, out of Banemore Last Day P084, was chosen by Alta Genetics for his calving traits and fertility.
"He has good calving traits and more growth," he said.
"In the last 10 years we have focused on breeding cattle that are easier to finish, so we look at the 200 and 400-day growth figures, as opposed to 600 days, as I want them to plateau.
"If you chase 600 too much, they don't stop growing until they're four-years-old and we want cattle finished before they're two."
Mr Hayes said they compromise growth to gain calving ease, an attractive balance for Angus breeders who were chasing hybrid vigour of Black Baldies.
"Hereford breeders were asleep at the wheel 30 years ago when the Angus breed was chasing calving ease hard and we thought we were invincible," he said.
"I am a big believer in calving ease and the breed has had to make some improvements in that area, which we have, but I think there is still room for more."
The stud has a split calving in both spring and autumn, with the theory they can utilise their most current genetics joining the dominant bull of the year across both joinings while offering a broader age range of 18-month-old to two-year-old bulls for sale.
This year, Tarcombe Herefords purchased Wirruna Phil P273 for $70,000, paid in partnership with Quamby Plains Poll Herefords, Hagley, Tasmania.
The bull was a son of renowned Wirruna sire, Wirruna Ledger L285 and out of Wirruna Doreen J50, with an EMA of +7.4, rib fat of +1.8 and rump fat of +2.8, along with calving ease of +8.4.
"The new genetics should always be your best genetics," he said.
"Recently what has brought new buyers to our sale is our BreedPlan data so I put bulls up for that reason.
"It is an important tool and if bulls don't have good figures, I wouldn't even look at them."