RUSSELL & MARGOT DEVER
FARM OWNERS, POKO POKO STATION
- Waikaremoana, East Coast
- Second generation on the property
- Introduced Simmental 12 – 15 years ago
- Farm runs 5000 stock units
- 50:50 ratio of sheep & beef
- Maternal and terminal herd
- Beef progeny sold as weaners
- With father-in-law topping weaner fairs in Taupo using Simmental, Russell decided to introduce them to his operation, replacing South Devons.
- Crossed Simmentals with Hereford to get the combination of body, size, early maturing and good milking ability (Simmental) with hill-country strength (Hereford).
- He puts a Simmental bull over Simmental looking cows and a Hereford over the first calvers.
- Keeps 3⁄4 Simmentals as replacements (needs Hereford influence for hill-country strength).
- Topped weaner fairs in Wairoa and Hawke’s Bay once Simmental was introduced.
- Culled cows sell at around 280 – 300kg, as opposed to 220 – 240kg (pre Simmental).
- Selling weaners well over 300kg, as opposed to under (pre Simmental).
- Higher weights at sale means higher profitability.
- Seeing demand for his progeny (Simmental/Hereford) as live exports to China for milking which is attracting a premium.
- Temperament is great – much easier to deal with than the South Devon cross.
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