SIMMENTALS have been the only option for a southern cattle and crop farmer for more than 25 years.
Joe Jessen had been running Brafords on his 2500-acre block for years, but "wasn't really happy" with the last two bulls he had purchased.
One of his friends was breeding Simmentals and suggested the breed to Joe.
"I started using Simmentals and have never gone back," Joe said.
"They had a lot better composition and a better temperament - not that Brafords are too bad," he said.
Today, Joe uses most of his "scrub country" at Tingoora, south of Wondai, to breed Simmentals, with the remaining country used for crops.
He has seen a marked difference in weight between Simmentals and other breeds when selling to the meatworks over the years.
"The difference in weight, just visually, is 50-80 kilograms alone. The Simmeys are a hell of a lot bigger, wider, deeper.
"People say you can't keep the fat cover on them, but I have never found that a problem."
Recently, Joe sold a bullock at Oakey that weighed 560 kilograms "on the hook" and said it was the second heaviest bullock the meatworks had processed.
Breeding is also integral to Joe's operations and he has three bulls to service his 180-200 breeders - two of which were purchased from Rob and Viv Laycock's stud, Clare Gully Simmentals, Esk.
Joe splits his breeders into three mobs and designates a bull for each herd, which enables him to evaluate each paddock's performance.
When it comes to weaning, Joe ear tags heifer calves with the same colour tag as their mother, so he can distinguish which paddock the progeny came from.
The top 30 or 40 heifer calves are selected to continue Joe's breeding line.
"I choose the top heifers mainly on composition and their ability to run; basically that means that anything that runs away from me when I walk through the mob never becomes a mother."
Joe prefers natural polled bulls and heifers and such selection has improved his herd with 80 percent of all calves natural poll.
This year, Joe plans to select 20 bull calves to keep and watch their progress.
To share in the success of the Simmental breed, be sure to attend the BCM Simmental Sale to be held at Gracemere on August 27.
The BCM Group comprises three Simmental studs: Billa Park Simmentals, Clare Gully Simmentals and Meldon Park Simmentals.
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