Location: Dulacca QLD
Property size: 7,000ha
Livestock: 7,000 Angus X cattle
Soil type: Clay to light ridge
Pasture type: Native and improved pastures
Lachlan Hughes is a fifth generation beef producer managing two of the family’s properties at Dulacca, QLD. He and his family run a 7,000 head herd of Angus-cross cattle over four different properties – Banchory Station outside of Clermont, Crescendo near Capella, Dulacca Downs and Heatherlea at Dulacca.
After a year in the MLA Challenge Lachlan said they have feed on offer for the next year and have increased cattle numbers, with average weights being around 40kg heavier than the same time last year. Drought plans are in place, with cattle removed from pastures when they reach 1000-1200kgDM/ha and orderly destocking ready to go if the area has another dry spring.
“We put cattle into our feedlot system every two weeks, so we need a constant supply of cattle, the right amount of pasture, and a good monitoring system. We didn’t have any of that before the Challenge,”
“Now that we’re using the Feed on Demand Calculator and the Stocktake App, we have structure in how we manage the country and deal with the weather. It has removed the stress of not knowing how much grass is there,"
“We set a target of keeping at least 1000-1200kgDM/ha in our pastures, which meant the good rain we’ve just had has seen them recover fast – in three weeks we’ve grown enough feed to see us through the year,"
“We’ve been buying in cattle to make the most of the feed on offer. This time last year we didn’t have enough cattle to take advantage of it, and we lost the chance to covert grass to kilograms.”
Lachlan said the main outcome of the Challenge had been understanding the impact of efficiencies on the business, and accepting what couldn’t be changed, such as prices and weather.
“Before the Challenge we thought we were very efficient and if things went wrong we tended to blame the weather,” said Mr Hughes. “We’ve changed our whole attitude now so that we can work with the conditions we have, manage our environment sustainably, and achieve astonishing triple bottom line outcomes,"
“We’ve been so inspired and motivated by the young, energetic people in the Challenge – all of us are doing what we love and really making a life out of it. It’s a story of rejuvenation.”
Lachlan's MLA challenge mentor was Robert Gill
Follow Lachlan on Twitter
Read blogs from Lachlan below, or view all blogs.
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