17 Mar

Taking a Chance on Something New

Burnham Grazing operates in Central Queensland, 30km south of Biloela in the Banana Shire. The commercial beef business is owned and operated by Dan and Emma-Jane Burnham who raise their family and rotationally graze up to 900 head of cattle on roughly 6000 acres of bottle tree scrub which melds into ironbark ridge country.

Rotational grazing with a regenerative focus, Burnham Grazing meets multiple markets with their breed. Burnham Grazing is USDA NOP certified organic and provide a local, online ‘Farmer to Fridge’ market where they supply multiple local retail outlets with their grass-fed beef as well as sending cattle to either their local processors or feedlot markets as the seasons dictate.

The focus on regenerative grazing means that cattle are a tool in the development and improvement of the natural systems. This means that if the grass is slow to grow, as it is in the current season, the Burnhams will aim to offload cattle to whichever market will provide the best return.

The Burnhams require their cattle to be able to meet multiple markets – to both finish on grass to a high standard and appeal to feedlots.

It is with this fluid goal in mind that the Burnhams began looking at a European bred bull that would produce cattle to meet these expectations. The Burnhams had the goal to prioritize bulls with low birthweights for ease of calving as well as early maturing genetics and for the bulls to share the ability to lay intramuscular fat for the paddock to plate market with their offspring.

This business focus is what led to Burnham Grazing purchasing two grassfed and grass finished Red Angus bulls from the paddock in 2022. The EBV data the David Hobbs and the team at Round-Em-Up was able to provide along with the videos to physically assisted with the decision to purchase. Burnham Grazing were very happy with the resulting calves that landed in the spring of 2022 and went back to purchase three more bulls from Round-Em-Up Angus in 2023.

A majority of the breeder herd has a brahman base from Boogal Cattle Co bulls, to best allow for tick resistance, meet Central Queensland conditions, travel well in forest

 country as well as ease of management. The Red Angus bulls, not having to come off grain, acclimatized quite well and aside from a possible case of overwork, efficiently fit into the rotational grazing system with the breeders and had no issues moving with the herd.

The Burnhams’ are very impressed with the work ethic of the bulls and the cross of Red Angus. From the straight Brahman breeders to Brahman/European cross breeders and the Hereford/Brahman cross heifers from previous years, the Burnhams’ are finding well-presented and muscular calves on the ground with little to no calving issues with the Red Angus influence.

Burnham Grazing plan to keep all Red Angus heifers and back to Brahman to retain for a future breeding herd. Dan, Emma-Jane and their family are looking forward to see how the steer calves present in 2024 on the hook and cannot be more pleased that they chose to try something new with the Red Angus breed. 

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