Beef 2018 Preview

Genetics, pasture management to feature in Bald Hills property tour

Beef Central, 01/02/2018

The Vella Family at Bald Hills


WITH 20km of frontage to the Central Queensland coast and Styx River and Herbert Creek as its boundary, Bald Hills is unlike your average Central Queensland cattle property.

Owned and operated by the Vella family in the Marlborough region north of Rockhampton, Bald Hills has some unique features, making it an excellent choice as one of this year’s Beef 2018 Property Tour destinations.

Ray Vella said the combination of softwood scrub and brigalow country with a high carrying capacity along with guaranteed rainfall could not be found anywhere else.

During the full-day tour, visitors will see some of the beef genetics and pasture management practices Ray learnt during his Australian Nuffield Scholarship in 2012.

“The key areas of our business will be our rotational grazing of pastures incorporating our feedlot system which enables our property to remain drought-free all year round,” Ray said.

Another project Ray and his wife Leah will showcase is their artificial insemination program.

“It is the most economic and effective method to ensure we are getting optimal genetic traits in our commercial and stud herds,” Ray said.

A mob of Brahman cross cattle heading to water on Bald Hills

Ray is a third-generation cane and cattle farmer, who left school at 15 to work on one of his family’s properties. In 2000, the Vella family purchased Bald Hills which at the time was a bare paddock that needed a lot of work.

Bald Hills was purchased as a bare paddock with two sets of yards, eight paddocks and no dwellings. The Vellas arrived with 1000 head of cattle. Today, Bald Hills’s 7200ha is broken into 46 watered paddocks serviced by four major laneways, two new sets of cattle yards have been built and the property runs about 3000 head of EU and MSA-accredited Brahman cross cattle.

In the future, Ray and Leah hope to increase carrying capacity to 4000 head while maintaining and improving their soil through innovative techniques.


  • Click here to access more information on the full-day tour visit.





Source: Beef 2018


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