WA Santa Gertrudis breeders are ready to welcome visitors to a field day they are holding at Matt and Mel Leeds, Bundarra Farm and feedlot on Gillingarra West Road, Regans Ford, this Friday, February 26.
The day will start at 9am with registrations and morning tea (sponsored by custom software provider SAPI), followed at 9.30am by a series of practical sessions in the cattle yards.
Mel Leeds will open proceedings with a bit of an insight into the Bundarra operation and team up with Gallagher territory manager Chris Pitts to show how Gallagher's top of the range TSI electronic weighing and recording system has helped streamline their animal recording and data management processes.
Broome-based veterinarian and Broome Cattle Vets director Bryce Mooring, whose family runs Merino sheep and Santa Gertrudis cattle at Quilpie in Queensland, will follow with a practical demonstration of bull breeding soundness evaluation.
The check-up will include animal conformation, manual examination of sex glands, palpation of testes and also prepuce and penis inspection, while collecting semen for under-microscope examination.
Mr Mooring provides cattle reproductive and health services to producers in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Perth regions and also live export protocoling and related services.
Working in with him will be fellow Broome vet and morphology specialist Tracy Sullivan, a graduate of Murdoch University who ran Santa Gertrudis properties at Bungunya and Moonie, Queensland, in conjunction with her husband before setting up practice in Broome, incorporating a morphology testing lab and fulfilling a government live export regulatory role.
As a committee member of Australian Cattle Vets and regular presenter on morphology at conferences and field days, Ms Sullivan will discuss the importance of selecting for morphology but also provide understanding of the limitations of testing.
Molecular biologist, animal geneticist and Xytovet co-owner Jason Ledger, Perth, will give an insight into the animal testing work of Xytovet, the only Australian owned livestock DNA testing lab.
In addition to human health testing services, Xytovet specialises in livestock parent verification and 50K SNIP tests, assessing genetic defects particularly those synonymous with individual breeds and is an accredited live export testing facility.
"There are about 100 genetic defect conditions in cattle that can be identified, but fortunately most are not in Australia," Mr Ledger said.
"Correct parentage data is becoming increasingly important for accurately assigning pedigrees in both sheep and cattle and is especially relevant in multiple sire herds and where a backup bull or bulls have been used after an AI program.
"Increased productivity and profitability are the drivers for testing to identify top performers.
"You want to know accurately which bulls are pulling their weight (in getting calves) and which sires are producing the best results (for more profitable calves)."
On a different note, local beef cattle producer Murray Grey will speak on his use of rangeland grazing principles including pasture monitoring and growth forecasting to better match stocking rates with carrying capacity.
Mr Grey began utilising the charts and practices of holistic management group Resource Consulting Services six years ago, first at his family's Glenflorrie station, Paraburdoo and more recently on the Gillingarra property he runs with his veterinarian wife Adele and their three young children.
"We look at paddock performance and livestock performance all measured on a per hectare rather than per head basis which is more in line with cropping methods," Mr Grey said.
"Croppers get very accurate feedback on paddock performance through their yield data.
"They know their inputs and can build a good picture of profitability.
"It's also about protecting our country and using grazing to improve our rangeland and paddock conditions."
The Grey's program has included sowing improved pasture varieties to benefit their own breeding herd as well as the increasingly more significant part of their business, cattle backgrounding and agistment.
Les Parsons, whose family this year clocks up 100 years over four generations at Coolawanyah station, Tom Price, with 50 of those devoted to breeding Santa Gertrudis cattle, will speak about the value of the breed to their enterprise.
Nutritional supplementation will be covered off by Henry Strating, Superior Livestock Services, Perth, with other product displays from Gallagher, Allflex and SAPI.
Lucky gate prizes will be sponsored by Gallagher and Superior Livestock Services and Brown's Cattle Consulting will sponsor a closing sundowner.
The day is free and open to all with morning tea, lunch (sponsored by Xytovet) and drinks provided.
More information: contact Chloe Madew on 0400 221 886 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Mel Leeds on 0418 906 674 and email@example.com
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