Business Rural Summer 2021

26 | Down to a fine art Richard Loader MEAT & WOOL » Whyte Farming Photos: Donald Whyte (top, on left) with Ryan Hussey. Angus cow with bull calf. On the cattle side, about 800 breeding cows make Hakatere home. Of those, 500 are Angus, 200 are Angus-Hereford Cross commercial cows with the remaining 100 being the Mt Possession Angus Stud. A joint venture between Ryan and his wife Sarah, and Donald and Leigh Whyte, the Mount Posses- sion Angus Stud is now six years old and enjoyed its first on-farm bull sale on the 14 th of June this year, attended by a big crowd of very keen farmers. Prior to that bulls were sold by private treaty on the paddock. “Twenty bulls were offered for sale, of which nineteen sold with an average of $11,200,” says Ryan. “The highlight was Lot 3, Mt Possession Q53, which went for the very impressive sum of $88,000. We were pretty happy with that, but it wasn’t really expected.” Q53 was a homebred bull sired by MT Possession M13 and is a great combination of performance figures, including two indexes in the top 1% for the breed, being the self-replacing index and the AngusPure index. “The Stud only started in 2015 and we’ve steadily grown it through a reasonable AI and ET programme. The ET programme is probably what has allowed us to grow the numbers as quickly as we have, concentrating on those real top end cows. Prior to buying the stud we had been buying a lot of bulls commercially from various operations and we’ve been doing a reasonably significant AI programme commercially since 2010. So that has given us a pretty good insight into what works up and here and what doesn’t. That has been a huge help as far as the stud operation goes and selecting those animals that will work well in high country conditions.” H ome to the Mt Possession Angus Stud, the Mid Canterbury high country station, Haka- tere, forms part of the wider Whyte Farming Company. Managed by Ryan Hussey for the past fourteen years, Hakatere Station sits near Ashburton Lakes, 25 kilometres inland from Mount Somers. Encompassing 15,000 hectares, Hakatere is primarily a sheep and beef breeding property that ranges from developed flats at 700 metres above sea level, to medium hill country, through to the tops at an altitude of 1500 metres. Ryan considers Hakatere typical of a high country property in the locality with some good soils but limited by its rainfall. “Our springs are late, the summers early and winter seems to take a long time. We generally don’t grow grass till late October but we make up for a lot of that with hectares to a degree so we have a bit of scope that gets us out of jail some- times. The higher altitude country is probably one of the differences here with running a stud, putting the cattle under real world pressure. The stud is a feeder for the commercial cattle. We’re looking at an overall package of cow that will do the job for us. The big requirement here is survivability and do- ability, which should lead through to body condition and good fertile cows.” Just short of 11,000 merino ewes are run at Hakatere and in recent times Ryan has moved to an annual on-farm lamb sale in early February, with about 9000 lambs and 1000 annual draft ewes sold in about 30 minutes — job done. Office: 03 302 8098 David Molloy: 0274 362 441 David Mangin: 0274 802 216 Colin Woolsey: 0274 362 448 Gregor Robertson: 0274 362 438 Scott Rix: 0274 362 442 Gary Rackham: 0274 362 459 Gemma Oliver: 0274 324 434 Martina Padrutt: 0272 863 489 Proud to support Whyte Farming Company Limited Book online: