Riverina Stockfeeds has been providing feeds to Smithy’s Droughtmasters since their establishment in 2017, and in the past five years, Rowan and Coralyn’s operation has gone from strength to strength.
Based at “Yangan", east of Warwick, the Smiths have developed a herd to suit all beef producing markets and focus their program on three key attributes of temperament, structure and adaptability.
The stud has built a solid reputation for itself in a short period of time and Riverina is proud to be part of the story.
"We've been using Riverina stock feeds since we started,” says Rowan.
“The team at Riverina has always been quick to help, and will assist on farm to ensure the advice given is tailored to our individual situation”
“Once we established the mixes that work for our situation and maximised the performance of our animals, we haven’t looked to change to anything else.”
Tony Grob, Riverina Territory Sales Manager, has helped Rowan to develop a feeding program, which has evolved over time to suit the needs of a growing herd.
“Our work with Rowan started out with some basic beef products and, as the stud has expanded, we’ve involved Riverina’s nutrition team to help fine-tune things,” says Tony.
“Rowan and Coralyn have collected data over the years to help track their progress, and at the start of the year our nutritionist Emma will sit down with them to review their plan.”
“Breeding data, AI results, conception rates and other EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values) are all part of the discussion now, which helps the Smiths to assess whether or not the cattle are meeting their production and growth goals.”
The Smiths predominantly use three of Riverina’s beef products – XLR8 Pellets, Sale & Show Meal, and Truegraz Gold Liquid Supplement.
Their calves are weaned onto XLR8 and high quality hay for 2-3 months, which supports high weight gain and coat lustre. This feeding program helps to ensure a low-stress weaning process, and enables them to go into the show ring or back into the paddock to grow out.
Smithy’s bulls are prepared on Sale & Show, which is fed through an Advantage feeder. This method allows Rowan to closely monitor animal intake and easily maintain a ration of 3kg per head per day, which sees weight gains of 1.2–1.5kg per day.
“We have found this sales preparation produces high weight bulls, with moderate fat scores and animals that can perform well back in the paddock for breeding,” says Rowan.
Breeders have access to Truegraz Gold year round, which ensures that cows maintain condition even during harder seasons and while lactating. Cows self-regulate their intake and the Smiths have found it to be a cost-effective solution for paddock use.
“Truegraz is a great product to use for maintenance, but it's also formulated to support fertility levels and reproductive health in cows, which makes it well-suited to Rowan’s breeding program on-farm,” says Tony.
“From Riverina's point of view, we’re also able to see real results quite fast with customers like Smithy's Droughtmasters, due to the scale of their operation”
“It’s a rewarding experience for our team as well as theirs, and the fact that Rowan is willing to advocate for Riverina at shows and events is testament to the support we’ve been able to provide for his cattle.”
Riverina is proud to support our customers in their endeavours, and strives to provide the highest quality service and product available. We look forward to seeing Smithy’s Droughtmasters continue to grow!
📸 "Smithy's Countach", sold at the 2021 Droughtmaster National Sale and prepared on Riverina's Sale & Show - aged 22 months at sale.
📸 "Smithy's Dominic" - Supreme Champion Bull at the 2022 Goondiwindi Show, pictured with Riverina's Chris Dearden on far right.
📸 Some breeders queueing up for a tub of Truegraz Gold (during the drier months pasture becomes less nutritious and this supplement supports the rumen to absorb more energy from the dry feed).