How one of New Zealand's largest commercial farms manages 37,000 sheep and 5,800 cattle
More than 37,000 sheep, 5,800 cattle and cattle paddocks the size of rugby pitches are just some of the features that make up one of New Zealand’s biggest commercial farms.
Father and son duo Alan and Richard Hore run a Hereford breeding and finishing enterprise based on their farm on their Beaumont Station and Marydale farms in New Zealand.
According to Alan,“their job description is to consistently turn out top quality beef and breeding regardless of the variable and sometimes extreme weather.”
“That means being able to bounce back after long winters, calve and raise offspring over a short growing season and bear the brunt of adverse weather. We produce our first calf at three years old giving us time to grow out and adapt to the country environment,” says Alan.
The development of the herd has been a long journey since Alan and his wife Jean moved with their family to Beaumont in 1972. Now Richard and his wife Abby are part of the operation.
Back then the farm was running 2,000 Herefords and while this may seem like a lot to Irish farmers, Alan felt that the farm was lightly stocked and was “keen to bolster numbers”. For Alan a key criteria for increasing herd size and breeding cow selection has been “structural soundness”
“We don’t want our herd to be big and rangy. We like them well muscled and well framed which is very important in this environment,” he said.
In the past, bulls used to be bought in on the farm but Alan admits that sourcing suitable breeding pools became an “increasingly difficult” and “time consuming exercise”.