Farmers and graziers gathered to learn how to improve herd fertility and grazing land management through genetic selection.
Farmers and graziers gathered to learn how to improve herd fertility and grazing land management through genetic selection. Madeline Grace

Lifting cattle fertility

"MORE calves means more money in our pockets.”

That was the word from Bouldercombe grazier William Tucker, who has been interested in learning how to lift the fertility of his cattle for some time.

His search for knowledge led him to the Beef Reproduction Field Days in Gracemere on Tuesday at Kenrol Brahman Stud.

Hosted by the Fitzroy Basin Association over four locations, farmers and graziers gathered to learn how to improve herd fertility and grazing land management through genetic selection.

Mr Tucker, who also produces commercial cattle and fat steers at a property out at Duaringa, said learning how to increase the fertility wasn't the only thing on his list.

"Bull selection is another thing I will be looking at; learning about testicle circumferences to judge early maturity, which means heavier calves will be produced at a younger age.”

He said Field Days like these were important because it brought farmers and graziers together from around the region to one location.

"This allows us to converse and share information with another to make us more productive,” he said.

"It's good to get out there, see what other people are doing and try new things.”

Topics covered during the Field Days included semen testing, predicting bull fertility, artificial insemination programs, comparing EBVs, DEXA update and genetic testing.

Accomplished and highly respected veterinarian and Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Science in Reproduction, Ced Wise, was among three key presenters featured at the Field Days.

He has dedicated his career to artificial reproduction technologies in cattle.

"The topics I cover are on bull fertility, how we predict the fertility of a bull prior to sale and artificial insemination,” he said.

"There is a lot of misconceptions in the industry as to how good or bad these technologies are regarding predicting fertility.

"I just want to try and explain it so people get a better idea of exactly what we are measuring, why we are measuring it and the limitations and pluses of doing that.

"Infertile bulls are a definite cost to the industry that we do not need, especially if you are using a single sire herd.”


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