Raising cattle runs in Cam Hughes’s blood - his family has farmed beef in Queensland for 100 years.
Cam runs Malarga Grazing with his wife Lisa and his father Brian, and today business is better than ever as their production grows to meet rising demand.
In an attempt to lift output through scientific innovation, the family is looking for answers to a question that has beef producers puzzled: Why are artificial insemination conception rates so low?
The current rate is just 60% and producers like Cam want to know why, so next year the Hughes’ Blairmore property will be used as part of an artificial insemination program trial.
This is just one example of Malarga Grazing’s commitment to innovative farming methods. Over the past three years the business has also helped trial a new cattle tagging system and has adjusted its pasture program to increase beef yields.
All up, Malarga Grazing has about 8,500 cattle and sells about 2,000 head a year as demand from China, Korea and Japan grows.
With beef performing so well in the market at the moment, Lisa says the family is taking the opportunity to upgrade their properties.
“We chose to increase expenditure on farm last year. We were capitalising on good returns and putting money back into the business."
As part of this project, the family has planted numerous new varieties of grass to improve the pastures and, in turn, beef yields.
“This has improved our weights no end,” Lisa says. “It’s a good chance to make a bit of money and improve our fixed infrastructure, plant and equipment."