Business Rural Winter 2022

| 27 MEAT & WOOL » Meadowslea Angus Sue Russell New bull ‘has everything we breed for’ The Giddings family have been farming in the beautiful and challenging MacKenzie District since 1929, establishing back then a Romney Stud and in 1985 an Angus Stud. Animals bred and grown on the farm on elevations of 1000 to 3000 feet become resilient, ef cient, high performers, perfectly suited to thrive in cold demanding conditions and when lack of rainfall affects feed availability. David Giddings says it’s the only way to breed the type of animal his sheep and beef clients want and this pursuit to deliver top genetics and stock that perform admirably when the going gets tough is what underpins the studs’ breeding philosophies. “With our Angus cattle we’re looking for exceptional fertility traits as our main selection criteria; strong rib fats provide an energy reserve when going into our tough winter where feed is minimal, and the ability to conceive early and reliably each season is crucial.” Key to this is the ‘Days to Calving’ trait, not to be confused with gestation length, as David explains. “We breed for a cow that gets in-calf as soon as the bull is in the paddock. We want progeny born early so they have the opportunity to grow well and prove their capability so that our clients gain bene t from maximum meat yield.” Meadowslea Angus bulls produce calves that will grow to a good moderate size; extreme high performers that demand intake of substantial feed aren’t suited for the high country situation. “Cow ef ciency is the buzz word; clients want good growth but not big cows.” When Rural South spoke with David, he was busy preparing for the annual R2 bull sale which traditionally has attracted good numbers and strong sale prices. This year’s sale is taking place on New Zealand’s rst Matariki Day holiday on Friday 24 June, however the sale will go ahead and also be conducted on-line. When COVID closed the door on the ability to auction stock on-farm some quick thinking to develop the on-line Yourbid platform, available through the Meadowslea’s website and facebook, meant sales could go ahead. Now, David says, farmers have got used to using the new technology, opening up an ability to view and bid for stock from a distance. “We’re still expecting good numbers at our auction which is conducted as a Helmsman style, giving clients lots of options.” The Helmsman system combines the best features of an auction system and sale by private treaty, where bidders have more time to consider lodging their bid. Buyers can place bids on any bull for sale at any time. This year, 75 R2 year bulls will stand up for sale. Prior to the day, buyers are able to view bulls individually online or visit them on the farm and the comprehensive Bull Sale Catalogue carries all the EBVs and trait data to assist buyers in their bidding decisions. For David, sale day is looked forward to but the end of a busy period preparing stock and auction information. The sale provides an opportunity to assess where the market is at and to see how nal sale prices compare with reserves held. “We had a very good sale last year and are looking forward to what the market brings this year.” And improving genetic worth is always a priority at Meadowslea Angus Stud. Supporting this endeavour the stud has just paid top dollar for Kincardine Rainstorme R25, bought at Whakatipu basin’s Kincardine Stud’s on-farm auction late May for $81,000. “That bull has a lot of the traits we breed for. It’s hard to nd a bull that is the complete package with no negative traits. This one has everything we value,” says David. The Giddings family of Meadowslea. Cows and calves coming down off tussock country for weaning. 2022 BULL SALE 75 R2yr Bulls On-Farm, Fairlie, Fri 24th June from 1pm Online from 13th June 7pm at Deep, thick, easy- eshing bulls with industry-leadng maternal and fertility traits. Full catalogues and videos of all bulls online. Call David Giddings 027 229 9760 Kincardine Rainstorme, the exciting young sire purchased by Meadowslea Stud for $81,000 in May this year.