‘Hill Springs’ is a 3000 hectare property in the Teviot valley near Roxburgh that runs from heavy river flats bordering the Clutha River to extensive run country rising to 2000 metres. John and Tina Pannett have run the property for many years and have now introduced the next generation.
Curtis, their son has returned to gather the reins with a real interest in their cattle enterprise. Curtis is a fixed wing pilot and has been gaining hours of experience at one of the six million acre Kidman stations in South Australia.
The Pannetts run 11,000 stock units with 380 beef cows playing an integral role within their operation by providing robust financial returns. 70 yearling heifers are mated with all R2 and R3 heifers mated to a higher growth Fossil Creek Angus Bull with positive fats and a good maternal package. All heifers are mated for only 2 cycles to achieve a high 90’s calving rate and the cows for less than 3 cycles for a 95% calving.
All fattening calves are wintered on fodder beet, and 180-200 of the steers and heifers are sold at 12 months of age in the local sale, often topping the sale due to demand for them. This year the tops realised over $1400 per head. The remaining 100-110 are wintered on fodder beet then slaughtered in the following spring. “By wintering that group they attain a great growth rate and attract spring premiums so it is an efficient closed system” says John. Replacement heifers then go onto a life in the challenging hills of the property alongside the breeding cow herd.
The Pannetts are proud to source Fossil Creek genetics for their breeding programme and like to focus on key EBVs in order to select bulls that suit their operation and that will finish well for both them and any outside finisher. The sire bulls in their Hill Springs bull paddock would fit into any pedigree herd – very impressive and shows their attention to detail when selecting their bull breeder and any individual bull to bring home to their herd.