Black Simmental proves a quality all-rounder in Brewer Beef enterprise

David Brewer says black Simmentals have outstanding calving ability and the breed complements Angus programs. Pictures: JAMES WILTSHIRE
David Brewer says black Simmentals have outstanding calving ability and the breed complements Angus programs. Pictures: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Brewer Beef principals David and Tara Brewer believe their move into black Simmentals is the right one as consumers demand more than just flavour from their meat – and producers strive for well performing herds.

“The black Simmental is really complimentary,” Mr Brewer said.

“We just try make a good product a bit more efficient, no one can dispute the benefit of hybrid vigour.”

The Brewers run 400 breeders in the Tallangatta Valley, while David’s father Allen has 450 commercial Simmental and Simmental-Angus cows at Koetong.

AUTUMN SALE: A selection of 40 bulls to be offered by Brewer Beef at its on farm autumn sale February 17.

AUTUMN SALE: A selection of 40 bulls to be offered by Brewer Beef at its on farm autumn sale February 17.

Several trips to the US over the past 20 years sparked David Brewer’s interest in Simmentals, and led to a switch from purely sire selection to an emphasis on cows.

“The maternal value is one of the strengths of the Simmental breed,” he said.

“We’ve had Simmental cows have 20 calves.

“In the US, the department of agriculture has been doing 45 years of research on different breeds and crosses and the Simmental-Angus cow is their number one cow for productivity, longevity.

“On average a Sim-Angus cow, on all their research, is producing 1.5 times more calves per cow than the Angus cows.

“The fertility’s better, the calving’s better, the structure’s better.”

Simmentals are high marbling and was becoming sought-after for astute retailers.

“We want to produce something that’s good for the customer every time they eat a piece of beef,” Mrs Brewer said.

That eating quality had sparked interest from feedlots while premium markets beckon.

“The future is grass fed beef,” Mr Brewer said. “Where we’re trying to target is people who are selling that certified grass fed beef.

“There’s a big movement towards that as consumers become more environmentally conscious: Eat like your grandparents ate – it’s pretty simple isn’t it?”

​Brewer Beef will hold an on farm sale on Friday, offering 40 bulls; which have tested in the top 10 per cent for the breed in intramuscular fat and top 20 per cent in eye muscle area and rib fat.

“We’ve got bulls that might suit people who want to put steers into the feedlots, then we’ve got bulls for veeler producers and then we’ve got bulls there for people who want to keep replacement heifers,” Mr Brewer said.