RAIN EASES PRES­SURE ON BOR­DER

Se­vere dry left pad­dock feed at crit­i­cal lev­els

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Toni Somes toni.somes@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

We rely on bores and creeks and there were holes in the creek dry for the first time I can re­mem­ber.

OWEN GUYMER

SEA­SON-WISE it was “re­ally crook” for Texas gra­ziers Owen and Ber­nadette Guymer un­til they tipped out more than 100mm in au­tumn falls.

The cou­ple runs a fine wool merino and santa gertrudis cat­tle oper­a­tion on Cornerview, a 1600ha property in the Sil­ver­spur re­gion, on the Queens­land/New South Wales bor­der.

It’s been a tough 12 months for the Guymers, with pad­dock feed reach­ing crit­i­cal lev­els and once re­li­able creek wa­ter holes run­ning dry.

“We were def­i­nitely get­ting pretty des­per­ate and our wa­ter sit­u­a­tion was real crook,” Mr Guymer ex­plained.

“Wa­ter-wise it was as dry as I have seen it.

“We rely on bores and creeks and there were holes in the creek dry for the first time I can re­mem­ber.”

For­tu­nately, falls in the past three weeks have run wa­ter in the creeks and given the pas­ture a much needed, if late, start.

His fam­ily has owned the un­du­lat­ing graz­ing coun­try for 106 years and while rain­fall charts doc­u­ment other droughts, Mr Guymer said it was the ones in re­cent his­tory you re­mem­bered.

“We’ve had other chal­leng­ing years, but this one was def­i­nitely made harder by the stock wa­ter is­sues,” he ex­plained.

“When you don’t have wa­ter in pad­docks it lim­its how you use what feed you do have.

“For­tu­nately the rain we’ve had was enough to run wa­ter in the creeks and if it stays warm it should give us some pad­dock feed.

“But it’s a bit late to truly make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence to feed lev­els go­ing into win­ter.”

So while the feed and wa­ter cri­sis has been averted, the Guymers are cau­tious about the im­me­di­ate out­look.

Al­though they had not been forced to re­duce num­bers sig­nif­i­cantly and ad­mit to con­ser­va­tive stock­ing rates.

At the mo­ment the cou­ple runs 1200 head of fine wool meri­nos, with shear­ing in Au­gust and the long-term goal of a 17-mi­cron fleece aver­age.

The other half of their oper­a­tion re­volves around 200 santa gertrudis commercial breed­ers, tar­get­ing the weaner mar­ket and sell­ing through Goondi­windi or Warwick sales.

When the Ru­ral Weekly caught up with the Guymers, they had trucked a line of qual­ity 10 and 11-month-old weaner steers and heifers for the fourth an­nual santa and santa-in­fused show and sale in Warwick, on the south­ern Dar­ling Downs.

The young cat­tle weighed be­tween 280–300kg and were sold, Mr Guymer ex­plained, be­cause the breed­ers were start­ing to lose con­di­tion.

“The cows were just start­ing to strug­gle,” he said.

“We haven’t been heav­ily sup­ple­men­tary feed­ing yet, we’ve just had some lick blocks out so I think the stock have done al­right.”

It was a sen­ti­ment shared by show judge Pat McMa­hon.

Mr McMa­hon named the Guymers’ en­try the 2014 cham­pion pen of steers, based on their con­fir­ma­tion, tem­per­a­ment and pre­sen­ta­tion.

PHOTO: TONI SOMES

WEL­COME RE­LIEF: Texas pro­duc­ers Owen and Ber­nadette Guymer, of Cornerview, were pleased with the re­cent rain­fall.

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