Hereford females retain value through their lifetime

The ability of commercial Hereford females to retain their salvage value has been reaffirmed to NSW producer Bob Barnett.

The additional yield of the Hereford cows once they reach the end of their productive life has processors bidding market topping prices for them.

Bob and Alison Barnett, “Wyregall’’, Narromine, sold 42 cast-for-age cows at the Dubbo saleyards in March 2017 to average 782kg and return $1923.

The couple also sold 10 young cows, averaging 667kg, for 284c/kg or $1898.

The Barnetts set a record in 2015 for commercial cows at the Dubbo saleyards when they sold a 1055kg cow for $2833 to Wingham Beef Exports.

This broke their own record set at Dubbo of CFA cows returning an average of $2042.

Teys Australia were among the buyers of the couple’s cull heifers in the past, paying to $1966.

Mr Barnett said local agents had commented on the exceptional yield from the draft of 42 cows.

“The old Hereford cow won’t milk herself into the ground – she will keep her calf and herself going,’’ he said.

“I’ve always found the Hereford to be much hardier and tend to go back into calf easily as they are not losing so much condition themselves.’’

Mr Barnett converted his sheep and cropping enterprise to cattle and cropping in the 1970s.

“The cattle are so much easier to manage with the crops than sheep.’’

At 76 years of age, Mr Barnett runs a 500 cow herd and rates the Hereford’s docile temperament as the most important trait.

“I always thought I would have retired by now but it’s important to keep yourself reasonably active,’’ he said.

“Temperament is vital as I do all the work on my own – the Herefords are quiet as lambs.’’

Mr Barnett said the Hereford females had proven to retain a profitable salvage value once their productive life finishes.

“The future of the breed lies with having a good carcase and temperament, and optimising traits,’ he said.

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