Whananaki Coastal Charolais
Quiet, Sound and Functional Bulls
Craig and Greta Harman
Whananaki, RD 1, Hikurangi, Northland
Naturally conditioned on coastal hills
Whananaki Coastal Charolais is situated on the East Coast of Northland and originally consisted of 50ha of valley flats, 207ha medium to steep hills and 70ha of native bush and Manuka, parts of which is fenced as conservation reserves and 40ha of unfertilised leasehold land. In 2002 we purchased a further 120ha of rundown property towards Whananaki South. At this stage our Charolais and commercial heifers and some dairy graisers are being farmed there.
The Stud was established in 1970 when all progeny was recorded on Beefplan until 1995 when all the records were transferred to Breedplan Australia.
The cattle along with Perendale ewes were used in the development of this hard dry coastal hill country. We are continually developing the farm without the sheep. In 2000 we increased, by leasing Mt Auckland Charolais, our breeding cows to calve over 200 Charolais each year and still maintain a small group of crossbred cows to enable us to assess our bulls over cows similar to our clients. Our main selection criteria for the cows has always been Fertility with emphasis on soundness and temperament. They are calved behind tapes and all calves are weighed and tagged within 24 hours.
Our Charolais ...and Commercial Farmers
Our breeding objective is to produce terminal sires that will continue to improve the long-term profitability of commercial beef enterprises.
We are focusing on and recording the economically relevant traits for the commercial cattleman... Fertility, Calving Ease, Growth and Carcase EBV's
Current Herd Sires
Whananaki Lukas - born 1995
Silverstream Orion - born 1997
Greenwood Park Rangi - born 1999
Whananki Coastal Charolais
Okaroro Station, Northland
Tried and tested beef Genetics preferred
Mr Donaldson says he is happy to pay a premium for top-quality Charolais sires if it produces better sales. "Nearly all of our cattle go to repeat buyers, and if we are all getting a premium right through them we are happy." The farm sources all Charolais bulls from Whananaki Coastal Charolais, with the aim of "high fertility, structural soundness and good confirmation, so the meat is in the right places."
Meat New Zealand Beef Genetics Co-ordinator
The Harman's are a young couple 'on the move', displaying a growing confidence in their business, an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a refreshing readiness to adopt new innovations and technology.
Not only are they achieving a huge amount of personal satisfaction in which they are doing, but also with an increasing number of contented bull clients and are therefore dramatically improving commercial production, they should rapidly securing themselves a sound financial future.
John and Chris Lane, Tapora
Temperament and Colour the Charolais Key
"The top Charolais and Simmental cross calves are probably on a par for growth", says John. "But the Charolais have a better tail end, when we draft the calves for sale the Charolais stamp a more even line of colour on their progeny, which in turn sell for a premium."
Temperament and colour are important factors when buying or selling lines of store cattle. These thoughts are mirrored by John's Wrightson's agent Bernie McGahan.
We endeavour to purchase herdsires from well established breeders with a preference for growth (inc. calving case and good fertility) and carcase EBV's. We continue to scan all yearlings for rib eye and backfat. While maintaining the birth weights our genetic growth trend since the introduction of Breedplan has made steady progress. We have a progressive approach to technology but always remember our aim is to produce easy fleshing smooth muscled Charolais cattle that combine ease of calving with superior growth and carcase traits