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Swan brothers fly high with Angus

12.21.2018, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

Angus producer Craig Swan at the yard where cattle are weaned on his family’s Narrung property.FORGING strong ties with their customers and suppliers has been the key to success for the Swan brothers at Meningie.
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Craig and Anthony Swan grew up in the town, and went into their family fertiliser business Swan Bros, which was established by their father and grandfather.

But, a decade ago the brothers moved into farming on the Cooke Plains.

Six years ago they sold up and bought 1600 hectares on the Narrung Peninsula.

And, when deciding what farming enterprise to run at Narrung, Angus cattle were the obvious answer.

The property was run almost solely as a sheep enterprise so the Swans undertook a lot of work renovating lucerne pastures, establishing fencing and water points.

“Most of the property consists of lucerne pastures, but we also crop and have 100ha of irrigated lucerne for hay production,” Craig said.

They produce 1500 tonnes of lucerne hay a year.

The brothers also run 500 Angus breeders, bought PTIC, with all progeny sold off at a minimum weight of 450 kilograms.

“We don’t keep any heifers so we purchase cows and we purchase quite a few Wanderribby cows locally,” he said.

All calves are sold over-hooks after being finished.

“They are sold directly to Thomas Foods International – for its Angus Pure brand – and then we purchase the number of cows we want from breeder sales or direct from farmers,” he said.

“The main benefit we see of using this system is building a relationship with our customer and the producers we deal with, we see it as a major advantage.

“We find TFI’s Peter Bond really good to deal with and he’s someone with a huge amount of knowledge.”

The brothers produce silage, which is used when weaning their calves.

“Calves are yard weaned for 10 days,” he said.

“We find it easy to wean using the yards, we contain them and they’re fed quality silage, and they put on significant weight during the weaning period.

“We also find they settle down really well in there.”

Another management tool the Swans use is a tight mating period.

“We mate for eight weeks, so we have a tight group of calves to come through,” he said.

“In the first week of April, the first of the calves are due, and calving happens over the next eight weeks.

“Once we have weaned the calves, the cows go onto stubbles, so we can preserve the quality pastures for the weaners.”

Most of the Swan brothers’ bulls are sourced locally, through the Gunner family’s Coorong Designer Angus Stud.

Other bulls have also been sourced from the Coolana Angus stud at Willalooka.

“With bull selection we choose based on growth and structure,” he said.

“Both studs are very strict on structure and it means a lot for the durability of the animal.

“We find they produce the growth and carcase traits we’re after.”

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