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Brahman foundation for Bulmer family’s success

Brahman foundation for Bulmer family’s success

Story by Lea Coghlan

The Bulmer family, Kyogle, NSW, has been a champion of the Brahman breed for more than half a century.

Well known as home to British breeds, the Brahman has made steady inroads into the Northern Rivers district, helped along by stud breeders like Grant and Jo Bulmer, Mountana Brahmans, who use the breed in stud and commercial operations, with great success.

Family patriarch Earl Bulmer was one of the first to introduce the breed in the district, when he established a Brahman stud in 1967 using a sire, Belmont Silver, from CSIRO’s Belmont Research Station, central Queensland, and Brahman females from Plainview.

Grant Bulmer, who took over the stud in 1998, said his father recognised the benefits of the Brahman’s tick resistance and low maintenance qualities, both which suited the area’s varied weather and environmental conditions.

Mountana Brahman stud heifers being prepared for the Silverdale Sale in March. The Bulmer family has enjoyed great success at this sale for the past two years.

“They are easy cattle to look after,” Mr Bulmer said.

“Our home place is a steep block and they certainly work the country really well.”

“We can have very wet weather and dry conditions, and the Brahman can adapt to both.”

Today, Mountana Brahmans stud is based on 809 hectares (2500 acres) in the Kyogle region, where some 130 grey stud Brahman females and 70 red stud Brahman females run with sires from some well-known Queensland studs including Lancefield, Carinya and Kenrol.

The Bulmers place emphasis on quality Brahman females, while they select their bulls based on wide muzzles, good sheaths and a moderate frame.

“I like a moderate frame cow, not too large,” Mr Bulmer said.”

“We spend a lot of money on buying females with the right traits”.

“We believe females are the nucleus of the herd so we focus on ensuring we work hard on traits like good temperament and good udders.”

Mountana Brahmans herd at the home block, Kyogle.

“Our cow herd is split between four grey Brahman bulls based on what genetic traits of the bulls we think will work best with the females to produce a quality animal.”

The focus on the females is certainly paying off, with Mountana Brahman stud heifers achieving 100 per cent clearance in the past two Northern Rivers Elite Brahman Female Sales at Kyogle.

Mountana achieves just as much sale success with its poll bulls who have averaging $13,000 at the industry’s flagship sale, Rockhampton Brahman Week Sale, in recent years.

Stud bulls sell at the industry’s regular sales including RBWS, February All Breeds Sale in Rockhampton, along with Casino All Breeds Sale and paddock sales.

Like many in the industry, the Bulmers have witnessed an increased demand for poll cattle from clients, prompting the introduction of poll genetics in recent years.

As operators of a successful cross breeding operation, the Bulmers know firsthand how well the Brahman performs commercially.

Mountana Brahmans female herd with Carinya bull purchases.

They cross Brahman females with Hereford bulls.

Together with their son Sam and daughter-in-law Laken, the Bulmers run 500 pure bred Brahman commercial cows, which includes 150 heifers purchased from Bungoona Stud, Clermont, on another 809 hectares (2500 acres).

“On the north coast, F1 females are really popular for a number of reasons,” Mr Bulmer said.

“We get ticks here, so the tick resistant quality of the Brahman is advantageous for crossbreeding.”

“There is less maintenance with Brahman cows compared with British breeds and their milking ability is superior.

“By using a Brahman breed in a crossbreeding program, the hybrid vigour can generate weight gain of up to 20 per cent. That’s important to commercial cattle producers, and is one of the selling points.”

Mr Bulmer has no doubt about the Brahman’s place in Australia’s beef industry.

“I think Brahman is the best all-round animal there is,” Mr Bulmer said.

“They tick most boxes.”

“In my view, they are the best suited beef cattle breed for the Australian climate, especially from here north.”

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