Mr Pattison, who has been managing Rhyola Station, owned by BJ Pastoral, for the past ten years said the Whiteface breed “seem to handle the hard times as well as great doing ability.”
“On our grazing country they hold their condition, and are also easy to market,” he said.
“We are targeting the feedlot market and most of our steers go to the JBS feedlot at Yanco.”
Mr Pattison pointed out the optimum weight for his 15-16 month old steers is 450-500kg for feedlot entry, while heavier stock go through to the Teys Cargill processing facility at Wagga Wagga.
“We can get those weights but it does depend on the season,” he said.
“Last year we ran all our steers on the station country without the need for any supplementary feeding.
“But we can irrigate oats, pasture and sorghum if necessary to grow our young stock out and provide backup for our cows.”
“Early winter calving fits in with our pasture growth as we normally get a reasonable winter/spring season,” Mr Pattison said.
“Our heifers are joined at 15 months for six weeks to calve as a two year old and it works well … we look after our heifers and give them a bit of attention during calving.”
All females are annually preg-tested, and any not in calf are sold to processors.
Replacement bulls are purchased from the Yavenvale Hereford stud near Adelong operated by James and Nicki Pearce for the family partnership.
“We have been buying Yavenvale bulls since I have been here as manager, as we like the growth rates of their progeny as well as their ability to handle our conditions,” Mr Pattison said.
“We look for good structure, good 400 day growth figures and ease of calving.”
Mr Pattison explained he focused on the conformation of the prospective sire before he contemplates the bull’s assesments.
“He must catch my eye, before I look at his figures,” he said.
“We have big paddocks so they must be good walkers to get around and not breakdown
“I also look for depth and length of body, a rich colour and dark eye pigment.”
Mr Pattison said he ‘scores’ his choices one to three, with three being his preferred choice.
“It gives us a choice when the bulls come into the sale ring,” he explained.
“Our bull prices depend on the market, but we can afford to spent a little bit more now because we are getting good returns for our cull bulls and steers.”