We began using Bonnydale Black Simmentals in 2014, to go over Angus-Friesian females and have achieved excellent results.

• Average mob weights for 8-9 month old calves have increased (since using Black Simmentals) up to 29kg liveweight at time of selling. This means more calves meet the minimum weight for slaughter reducing the number of "left over" calves.
• Better shape calves that show both length and thickness with no lean "slabby" types.
• Increase in fat measurements of carcass and high MSA index's.
• Shorter gestation = lighter calves born & we also use the Black Simmental bulls over heifers with no problems.
• Buying yearling bulls works well for us, we gain an extra year's service from them and they are no trouble when mixing with the older Bulls therefore fitting right in.

Alf Carroll, Tirano Farms, Cundinup.

Photo- Bonnydale Black Simmental cow and calf.


We have been dealing with Bonnydale Black Simmentals for the last 15 years. We have achieved excellent results with our calves. In our first draft this year we sent 80% of our baby beef with average weights at 245kg dressed with 10-12mm fat score. We have received an excellence in eating quality awards for meat standards Australia, which has placed us in the top 100 producers for Western Australia for two years in a row.

The service that Introvigne’s provide to us has been outstanding.

Rob Dimitriou
J & Y Dimitriou & Sons.


Congratulations to Peter, Donna & Luke Blechynden of Yornup on their success at the 2017 Bridgetown Agricultural Show. They were awarded “Best Single Vealer” and “Best Pair of Vealers” on the hoof. Donna said, ‘the single vealer weighed 249kg dressed with the whole line averaging 230kg with plenty of fat cover. I am very happy with our first year of Black Simmental calves’.


Hi Mike & Rob,
I just wanted to let you know what a tremendous result we have had with your bulls across our Angus cow herd this year.

At our home farm we have 3 of the 2017 yearling Black Simmental Bulls covering a herd of 82 cows either 3, 4 or 5 yrs old and despite the challenging year (and 24 cows having only their second calf) we have 100% success rate in terms of pregnancy. What an outstanding result!

Almost as good across our other Angus herd of 145 cows of various ages from 5yrs old to 12 yrs old where we have 6 Black Simmental Bulls from 2 yrs old to 5yrs old we have had only 7 empties or 95.2% success rate. When you consider and if you remove the 3 empties that were old cows the result is even better at 97.2%.
Across the entire herd the result is 98% success rate.

I look forward to seeing you at this year’s bull sale!
Kind Regards,
Glyn Yates.



Willie Altenburg - Select for Success

Dr Rick Funston University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL), increasing productive efficiency in cattle.

"Bonnydale bulls purchased at the February 2017 Bull Sale and acclimatising well and ready for work at Injune in Queensland".

Mike Introvigne presented at the 2017 Shorthorn Beef National Conference in Dubbo, NSW.  Mike’s presentation was titled, “IGS (International Genetic Solutions) An Australian Breeders Perspective”. Other speakers included host Graham Winnell -Business Manger Shorthorn Beef, Richard Norton - Managing Director MLA, Jennifer Peart - Market Analyst, MLA, Rob Inglis - Elders Production Specialist and Mahdi Saatchi - Lead Genomicist IGS (USA).

Trust is the gold Standard.

Read Here

Breeding for a Profit.

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“We have had the pleasure of feeding the Introvigne’s Bonnydale Black Simmental cross steers in our Daniel’s Well Feedlot. The performance and market suitability of these cattle ticked all the boxes for our high end programs including Woolworths Domestic Supermarket and WMPG Japanese 120 Day Grain-fed Export. I would be happy to recommend these genetics to any discerning cattleman looking to supply todays demanding market programs”.

Paul O’Meehan
Daniels Well Feedlot
A O’Meehan & Co

By: Heather Smith Thomas - Cattle

Many commercial stockmen take advantage of heterosis (hybrid vigor) by crossbreeding. Research in the early 1900's demonstrated the benefits, which include breed complementation (combining some of the desired traits from two or more breeds, to gain characteristics that were lacking in one of the parent breeds) and heterosis. No breed has all the production characteristics you might desire in your herd, and by careful crossbreeding you can add the traits you want from a different breed, and overcome some of the weaknesses of each breed, producing animals that exhibit more desired qualities and less of the weaknesses. The crossbred animal will benefit from heterosis—the performance advantage that enables the crossbred to exceed expectations of the parent breeds. Heterosis beneficially influences many traits that are important for increased beef production, including fertility and reproduction, calf survival (hardier calves), maternal ability, growth rate of young animals, efficiency and longevity.

Heterosis is maximized when mating animals with very different genetics, as when using animals of breeds that are completely unrelated—such as a British breed and a breed containing Bos indicus (zebu) bloodlines, like Brahman. Heterosis is also great when breeding British breeds to continental breeds, even though all of these animals are Bos taurus. The British breeds are less closely related to most continental breeds than the British breeds are to each other (or the continental breeds to one another).

Breeding animals within the same breed always limits genetic potential to some degree because all modern breeds were created by using a certain amount of inbreeding to “fix” the desired characteristics so there would be uniformity in the offspring. The gene pool in any given breed is limited. A certain amount of production potential is always sacrificed in order to gain the uniformity desired in a breed, since the most dependable way to gain uniformity was by using inbreeding and linebreeding in the early history of the breed. A breed is essentially a closed group of cattle (not allowing any infusion of other genetics) and thus accumulates some inbreeding over time, even if it's not done deliberately.

A crossbred animal is created by mating two straightbred animals of different breeds or a crossbred animal to an animal of a third breed, or two crossbred animals of different mixes of breeds. Crossbreeding is the opposite of inbreeding. It opens the door for much wider genetic variation, and results in heterosis. As explained by Dr. Jim Gosey (retired University of Nebraska Extension Beef Specialist), heterosis is actually the recovery of accumulated inbreeding depression. In just one generation, the offspring exhibit the maximum of what was lost through generations of “pure” breeding within a closed gene pool.

Many stockmen feel that heterosis is most easily maximized with a three breed crossing system, mating a crossbred cow with a bull of a third breed. It is often easier to buy (or use semen from) a purebred bull than a crossbred bull, unless the bull is a composite. Composites are gaining in popularity because they simplify the breeding program; the animals are already mixed in a desired combination.

A composite is an animal created by mating two animals that have crossbred parents of similar breeding; in other words the breed “mix” is the same in sire and dam and has been standardized into a predictable blend over several generations of breeding crossbred to crossbred. The animals are all the same percentage of certain breeds, such as half and half of two breeds, or 3/8 of one breed and 5/8 of another, or a certain blend of three or even four or more breeds. Some of the “breeds” in use today like Brangus (a stabilized percentage of Angus and Brahman), Santa Gertrudis (Shorthorn and Brahman) and Beefmaster (Brahman, Shorthorn and Hereford) were some of the first composites. There are a growing number of popular composites today, such as Angus and Gelbvieh, Angus and Salers, Angus and Chianina, several combinations of British and continental breeds, etc.

Bonnydale SA Tank K299 - An impressive 3/4 Simangus sire by TNT Tanker with excellent carcase traits and powerful growth. His first crop of sons display excellent structure, finishing ability, growth and style.

Crossbred Cows Provide the Ultimate Benefit

The greatest amount of benefit gained by crossbreeding is with crossbred cows. Even though many stockmen use crossbreeding of straightbred parents to produce exceptional market calves (calves that gain faster than straightbreds and do well in the feedlot), the crossbred cow is the key to maximum beef production and profitability in a cow-calf operation, since hybrid vigor in the cow produces phenomenal maternal advantages. Research has shown that a crossbred cow is eight percent more efficient than a purebred cow, lives 38 percent longer and has 25 percent more lifetime production (pounds of calf weaned). This is partly due to the fact that crossbreeding has the biggest impact on traits that are not highly heritable (and hence more difficult to improve through selective breeding within a breed), such as fertility, age at puberty, and longevity.

Crossbred cows live longer and are also less apt to be culled for being late or open, due to increased fertility. Any cow that can calve at two years of age, never miss a year of calving, and stay in your herd another year or two beyond average culling age makes you money. When you consider all the benefits of a crossbred cow, you can see why animal scientists call this the “only free lunch” in the cattle business. As pointed out by Dr. Larry Cundiff (U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska), data from their heterosis studies showed that breakeven costs of production were reduced about 10 percent by using crossbred cows. Another study at Montana State University compared effects of breed and heterosis on heifer pregnancy using purebred and crossbred females of several breeds. Results showed that a higher percent of crossbred heifers calved at two years of age (reaching puberty and becoming pregnant earlier) than purebreds.

And if a cow is healthier, with a stronger immune system due to hybrid vigor, she develops better immunity when vaccinated, imparts better colostrum to her calf, which in turn keeps him healthier through the risky days of early calfhood. Genetics plays a big role in an animal's immunity and immune response; the crossbred animal is hardier than a straightbred animal partly just because genes control the process of recognizing disease agents and inbreeding doubles up more of the undesirable immune-response genes. Every pure breed is inbred to some degree. Crossbreeding ensures more genetic diversity and optimal immune response. Thus a crossbred cow tends to have more optimum immune system function than a straightbred cow, and hence not only stays healthier herself but may also produce more protective colostrum.

When all factors are weighed, the crossbred cow gives you the most benefit. By contrast, the stockman who is merely trying to take advantage of hybrid vigor in the calves (using straightbred cows and bulls of another breed) gains less impact on profitability. Calf weaning weights for crossbred calves are five percent more (and yearling weights four percent more) than straightbred calves. The research study in the 1990's that came up with these figures showed that a straightbred cow with a crossbred calf earned an average of $23.37 more than if she had a straightbred calf. But a crossbred cow with a crossbred calf netted $116.88 more than a straightbred cow with a straightbred calf. This is one reason a number of producers went to crossbred cow herds.

In the past decade, however, with increasing popularity of “black” cattle and the drive toward more uniformity and marbling, many of America's commercial cow herds have lost most of the heterosis they once had. Due to market pressures for beef calves, many stockmen have been using bulls of just one breed, and the replacement heifers become more and more straightbred with each generation. According to Dr. Jim Gosey (retired Beef Extension Specialist, University of Nebraska), the loss of heterosis in these herds shows up most quickly in the traits that are least heritable (and most associated with inbreeding depression), namely reproduction (fertility), hardiness and longevity. The price paid for loss of heterosis is cumulative—as a number of very small losses add up and amount to a substantial sacrifice in lifetime productivity.

As one cattle buyer observed following a cold slow spring during which feed supplies were short, most of the cows in several herds he worked with were thin, and there was a high rate of open cows after the breeding season. Interesting to note, the cows that bred back the best, and on time (in spite of the tough conditions), were the old crossbred cows that were still in the herds. The younger females that were a high percentage of straight breeding didn't do so well.

How Can You Keep The Positive Effects Of Heterosis?

The maximum benefit from heterosis is in the first generation (F1), producing a crossbred animal from two different parent breeds. The next generation (F2) loses some of that vigor if the F1 female was bred back to a bull of one of the parent breeds. Some stockmen therefore use a bull of a third breed in order to produce calves with maximum heterosis from the crossbred cow. Maximum benefit can also be obtained by using a crossbred bull, of different breeds than the crossbred cow.

There are various degrees of hybrid vigor in calves produced from various crossbreeding systems, such as a two or three breed rotational cross. To get an idea of the range of difference, we can assume that breeding a purebred to a purebred of the same breed produces zero percent hybrid vigor and breeding a purebred to a purebred of a different breed (especially if the two breeds are very genetically different) results in 100 percent heterosis in the offspring.

In a traditional two breed rotational system, crossbred cows of breed A and B are bred back to bulls of breed A (creating calves that are ¾ one breed and ¼ the other breed). Then those daughters are bred to bulls of breed B. The bull breed is continually switched back and forth. After a couple of generations the heterosis obtained stabilizes at about 67 percent, according to Michael MacNeil (research geneticist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service at Miles City, Montana, in 1998). Adding another breed to the rotation (switching the sires for each generation between bulls of breed A, B, and C) extends and expands the effects, resulting in 86 percent heterosis in each generation. Adding a fourth breed to the rotation results in an increase to 93 percent heterosis, which will be continued indefinitely in each crop of calves from this mix (a sire from breed A, B, C or D bred to crossbred cows that embody the four-way cross).

One disadvantage of any rotational crossbreeding system, however, is that the breed makeup of the calves swings heavily (slightly more than half) toward the breed of the sire in each generation. As pointed out by MacNeil, unless the breeds used are similar in certain traits and performance level, there can be a lot of variability in the calves produced, from one year to the next. Another disadvantage is that rotation systems require a stockman to have more than one breeding pasture (since there will always be two or more sire groups), and sorting of cows into the proper group so their calves will be sired by the proper breed of bull to make the system work. This can be difficult on some ranches that use community range pastures, or ranches that utilize intensive grazing management with rotation of pastures.

One way around this is to use crossbred bulls. Then the breed mix in the calves can be kept more consistent, without swinging so heavily toward one breed or another. If crossbred bulls of different breeds than the crossbred cows are used, heterosis is maximized once again, or if crossbred bulls of the same (or one of the same) breed are used, heterosis is somewhat reduced but the breed mix can be kept at a more acceptable level—for instance if you want to create calves that are only ¼ continental blood rather than half.

Another way some ranchers minimize the breeding pasture problems is to use bulls of one breed for about three years and then change to a bull of the second breed, and then to a third, or back again, and so on. The rotation of bull breeds over time will sacrifice some heterosis but this loss can be minimized if you use bulls of three or four different breeds, for only two years each.

A more recent answer to some of these problems has been the development of composite blends of breeds. Using a composite bull on composite cows reduces the need for separate breeding pastures or rotating breeds of sire.

Mr Kim Edwards, Tellarup Brook Farms, Manjimup, WA with two of his herd sires purchased from Bonnydale.

Mr Edwards has been using Bonnydale bulls close to ten years and Bonnydale Blacks close to 6 years.
Bonnydale genetics are suiting Kim’s breeding program “really well”, the calves are early maturing and the Bonnydale Blacks are providing ease of calving at a time when other farm programs are in full swing. Hear the full interview with Kim, Click here 

Donor Program - The Next Generation

We recently selected this group of elite rising 3 year old second calf cows to join our donor program.

Bonnydale Black Carlene K185

Bonnydale Black Carlene K185Bonnydale Georgia K105Bonnydale Gypsy K222

Bonnydale Georgia K171Bonnydale Jossie K115Bonnydale Lil Desi K183

These exciting young cows having just had the second calf were assessed for structural integrity, performance of their first calf, phenotype and overall genetic merit. These cows will be flushed for for our own program and to fill embryo orders. We believe these young cows have the genetic superiority to deliver us the next generation of elite ET calves. The resultant calves will be progeny tested alongside our USA imported ET calves.

 Mr. Ian Collie, Eastern States Rep reports from the field;

Chris Jones from Portland, Victoria has utilised Bonnydale genetics in her breeding herd for some time. Chris recently had outstanding success at the Hamilton weaner sale on January 10th 2017 with her Simangus weaner steers. Her top pen weighed 442kg and made $3.62 c/kg equating to $1,600 per head. This outstanding result was a record for Hamilton for both highest weight for weaners sold and highest price per head. Thomas Foods International, repeat buyers of Chris’s cattle were the successful purchaser.

To follow this outstanding result Chris offered a quality draft of Simangus weaner heifers at Hamilton on January 20th. After selecting her own replacement heifers Chris offered the second draft to an eager buying audience looking to secure these black beauties which lead to another outstanding result. The line of 15 heifers weighed 403kg and returned a staggering $4.03/kg equating to $1,624 per head. To put this in perspective Chris also offered a line of Angus heifers from a similar drop, these weighed 352kg and only returned $3.80/kg for $1,337 per head.

Photo: Rob Introvigne and Chris Jone discussing Chris's cattle 2015.

Bonnydale Black Simmental / Murray Grey Cross - Mr Rob Bass is impressed with the cross.

As reported in Farm Weekly dated January 5th 2017;

Among the feature drafts at Elders January 11th Boyanup Weaner Sale will be the large annual draft of Black Simmental/Murray Grey cross and Murray Grey weaners from Rob Bass and Kerry Pinch, Boyup Brook. They will offer a total of 95 mixed sex weaners – 45 pure Murray Grey and 40 Black Simmental/Murray Grey cross.

Mr Bass said “The Black Simmental/Murray Grey calves were sired by a Bonnydale bull and out of their Southend Murray Grey blood females”. “This will be the second drop of Black Simmental calves we have had and I am very impressed with the cross”. “We are getting some good hybrid vigour in the calves and good weight gains”. “The calves will be heavier than normal due to the season with the Murray Greys expecting to average about 340kg, while the Black Simmental cross calves will be heavier with a 370-380kg average”. “The extremely quiet calves are March/April drop and weaned on December 26th”.

2017 Bonnydale Paddock Update

We had the pleasure of hosting some great cattlemen over a couple of days, Renowned cattleman and former Simmental stalwart, Dick Vincent joined Peter Howarth & Andrew Chapman of Wombramurra Black Simmentals, Nundle, NSW who purchased Bonnydale Augustus L84 for $24,000 at our 2016 bull sale. It was a great opportunity to discuss genetics and management issues while inspecting our herd and of course sharing a few drinks, dinner and many stories.

Photo Left to Right;
Rob Introvigne , Peter Howarth, Dick Vincent & Andrew Chapman.

Julie and Diane Introvigne, 

Bonnydale Black Simmentals WA.


2016 sees Bonnydale Black Simmental and Simangus genetics set the bar even higher. The combination of elite sires and proven females has led to an outstanding crop of calves. The result will be a team of 70 bulls for our February 2017 sale that tick all the boxes for calving ease, powerful growth, carcase quality, docility and maternal excellence and backed by comprehensive Breedplan data.
The team will feature sons of outcross sire RCR Augustus R54, sire of the record priced bull at our 2016 sale and the first sons of the powerful Bonnydale Kruiser who is by TNT Tanker and out of ASR Black Carlene. Other sires represented will be new sire Koch LC Monte 803U and proven performers Black Hawk, Jim Beam, Sand Ranch Hand, ASR Augustus, HC Hummer and Simangus sire Bonnydale SA Tank. The line up will also feature several specially selected bulls suitable for heifers.


In our quest for excellence in performance recording we are now applying more science than ever before by entering our 350 stud females on the American Simmental Association (ASA) database while maintaining our primary registrations with Simmental Australia. Simmental Australia’s Breedplan evaluation will continue to be utilised with Bonnydale continuing to submit more trait data than any other Simmental herd in Australia.

In addition to this significant investment we have changed the name the stud operates under from Bonnydale Simmental Farms to Bonnydale Black Simmentals, a deliberate attempt to differentiate our Black Simmental and Simangus from traditional Simmental.

WHY? Because we believe they are simply superior cattle in every aspect of commercial profitability. They are the new generation Simmental who deliver improved calving ease, powerful growth and carcase values, maternal excellence and docility. Every Purebred Simmental in our herd is based on US genetics and our Simangus share those genetics so it made sense to utilise the science behind the massive ASA database to benchmark our herd. In our pursuit of excellence in performance recording we could no longer ignore the benefits of ASA’s enormous database which will also allow us to utilise Genomic enhanced EPD’s now instead of waiting for the Australian system to be able to undertake this task.

The American Simmental Association utilises its Sire Evaluation Program and Carcase Merit Program to provide comprehensive data to enhance its genetic evaluation. In these programs young sires are tested in “real world” commercial situations and data is collected from 41 different commercial herds in 18 states with steers fed and slaughtered in nearly every cattle feeding region in the U.S.
We believe the icing on the cake is International Genetic Solutions (IGS). IGS is a collaboration of 12 progressive breed associations, with ASA having a considerable stake, that have put the needs of the commercial cattle producer first by creating an unprecedented multi breed genetic evaluation. With over 16 million total animals and 400,000 plus new animals being added annually, IGS has the largest beef genetic evaluation system in the world. Bonnydale is now part of this evaluation.

To maintain its leadership position, IGS is currently collaborating with world-renown geneticists from Theta Solutions LLC, in the development of what is soon to be the world’s most advanced genetic evaluation system. Dubbed BOLT (Biometric Open Language Tools), this system will greatly enhance the beef industry’s ability to leverage genomic information, thereby accelerating genetic improvement at rates beyond currently possible.

While this investment will not change what commercial cattlemen see at Bonnydale it will underpin the genetic evaluation accuracy and assist accelerated genetic gain. The bulls that are offered for sale annually will provide superior genetic potential delivering added value to their commercial progeny.

 Visit American Simmental Association 


Yearlings becoming popular - In Australia and other parts of the world, there is a trend towards using bulls at yearling age (12–18 months). This allows introduction of superior genetic material into herds a year earlier than normal, resulting in faster genetic improvement.

Their introduction has the potential to allow breeders to extend the working lives of bulls by a year or more, lowering the bull’s costs of a herd. This extra workload is achieved at the time in their lives when they are young, lean, fit and exuberant. They are free of the structural problems that beset older bulls.
Yearling bulls have much to offer, both genetically and financially. However, poor management can reduce calving percentages, compromise animal welfare and limit their lifetime potential. In order to harness the immense potential of yearling bulls, special management is required—their age and physiological status demands it.

Why are yearlings different? - Apart from their age, yearling bulls are different from older bulls in a number of ways.
They are still growing strongly, and tend to be leaner, carrying less body fat reserves. They are usually fitter and more agile, although not necessarily stronger, than older bulls. They are also smaller in size and more subordinate to older bulls which makes them more injury-prone when mixed with them, especially in the sexually competitive environment of a joining group.
Yearling bulls are usually sexually inexperienced, are more likely to be sexually immature, and their health and body condition are far more sensitive to poor nutrition and the challenges of internal and external parasites.
Although special management is required, much of it is common sense.

Why use yearlings? - Cattle producers with experience in managing yearlings often say that they prefer them because they settle in better, mix with other cattle more easily and are easier to handle than older bulls. However, there are some far more tangible incentives in using them.
In south-eastern Australia, the average working life of a bull is less than 3 years—not a very satisfactory performance for one of the main operational costs of a beef cattle enterprise. By first using bulls as yearlings, the working life of a bull can be extended by a year or more—a 25% increase. As a result, the purchase price and running costs of bulls can be spread over more calves. This reduces bull costs per calf and boosts profitability.
Yearling bulls also allow cattle breeders the opportunity to achieve faster rates of genetic improvement. This is due to the influence of what geneticists call ‘generation interval’, that is, the average age of parents when their calves are born.
By using genetically superior bulls as young as possible, faster turnover rates of genes are achieved. Joining yearling bulls to yearling heifers can maximise genetic improvement by lowering generation intervals.

Yearling bulls are significantly less costly to produce. Seedstock suppliers sell their bulls 6–12 months earlier, which simplifies their management and reduces overheads.

In addition to these advantages, there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that bulls used first as yearlings have even longer working lives because of superior fitness and lower levels of body fat. The more active lives of these bulls means that they are maintained at body weights below their genetic potential. As a result, less stress is placed on their skeletal structure when serving, with less likelihood of breakdowns occurring.
The two biggest causes of breakdowns in bulls are hip arthritis (over 50% of all wastage) and broken penis. Overconditioning bulls for shows and sales, especially multivendor sales, exacerbates both these conditions. It would appear that bulls used first as yearlings are less affected by these serious sources of economic loss.

Will yearling bulls be sexually mature?
British breed yearling bulls will generally be sexually mature if they:
• are well grown
• are in good condition (fat score of high 2 or low 3)
• are 12 months of age or older
• have a scrotal circumference of 32 cm or more at 12–14 months.
The onset of puberty is directly related to the level of nutrition. Bulls on a high plane of nutrition are more likely to reach puberty at a younger age. In some cases, this may be as young as 8 months of age. Poorly grown or low-condition bulls are risky for use as yearlings, as they may not have reached puberty.
Around puberty, testicles grow very quickly, resulting in a rapid increase in scrotal circumference. In well-grown British breeds this ‘growth spurt’ is normally expected to take place between 8 and 13 months of age, under optimal nutrition.
In general, some European breeds and Bos Indicus, or their derivatives, reach sexual maturity later than British breeds. As a result, they are often not suitable for use at yearling age. Dr Glen Coulter of the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Alberta, has documented the minimal scrotal sizes across all breeds. These are based on thousands of measurements and are set out in the table below.

Minimum scrotal sizes (cm)

Dr Coulter suggests that cattle producers should select bulls with scrotal sizes substantially greater than these minimums. He suggests that bulls with scrotal sizes less than these minimums are likely to have limited sperm-producing capacity and unacceptable fertility under moderate to heavy mating loads

Serving ability - Yearling bulls are usually sexually inexperienced. As a result, they are sometimes, but not always, a little clumsy and awkward. However, young bulls have very steep learning curves. This learning phase may cause minor delays in the start of calving. Should this be a problem, joining should start 7 or 14 days earlier than normal to compensate for the slight delay.

Mating management - Yearling bulls can be effectively joined either individually or in peer groups. They should not be joined in a group with older bulls because of ‘dominance’. In a mixed group, older bulls may get up to 75% of the cows in calf while young, subordinate bulls miss out. Joining yearlings with older bulls is not only wasteful and inefficient, it is also risky, as the young bulls tend to be more injury-prone. In addition, there is less risk of exposure to venereal diseases when young bulls are joined in peer groups.

Single or multiple joining? - 
Bulls that are being watched by other bulls are likely to serve females more often—they respond to an audience. Conception rates in multiple-joining groups are usually higher, which is understandable, since there are more services made in multiple-joining groups than in single-joining groups. It is not uncommon for bulls joined in groups to fight in the first week of joining, even though they had been run together before joining. Apparently they sometimes need to re-establish a pecking order. This settling-down phase may help explain why calves occasionally start arriving later than they should.

Multiple-joining groups have traditionally been a kind of on-farm insurance policy against the risk of having a dud—if one bull in the group is freeloading, the others will cover for him, and so conception rates don’t suffer. But the insurance does not come free (it never does). There is evidence that injury rates in multiple-joining groups are higher, especially when the bulls in the group are of different ages.

The incidence of ‘broken penis’ is higher in multiple groups, especially when young bulls are joined in a group with older bulls. Yearling bulls should never be joined with older bulls—the risk of injury is just too great. They should be joined either by themselves or with other yearlings.

Won’t yearlings be too small to reach my cows? - If the biggest cows in a joining group fail to conceive, size may be a factor. However, it is risky making ‘blanket’ statements. The sexual prowess of some small, high-serving, yearling bulls serving dry cows significantly larger than themselves has been witnessed at Trangie Agricultural Research Station, and one wonders how it was physically possible. Sex is apparently a wonderful motivator!

Won’t joining bulls as yearlings knock them around? -  Bulls do not die from too much sex. However, they do lose condition. This will depend on their health, the quality of their feed, the length of the joining period and the number of females they are joined with. A lot of common sense is needed in order to strike a balance. In extensive areas with only average or poor quality feed, the joining season should be restricted to 6–8 weeks.

The use of yearling bulls is limited only by their health and fitness. It does not matter whether they ‘won’t grow out’ as it’s just not relevant. If our beef industry is to make progress, we must purge our minds of the belief that a bull has to be fat and well grown to be any good. The value of a bull should be measured by the performance of his offspring—not on what he looks like. After all, when was the last time you saw a fat rabbit, fox or roo? Those species carry no subcutaneous fat, yet they don’t appear to be facing extinction!

Maintaining bulls in anything fatter than 2 or 3 score condition is wasteful, counterproductive and inefficient. Bulls that are allowed to get fatter than this are either sexually inactive or under-used.

Won’t yearling bulls have smaller calves? - If you are concerned about birthweight, buy a bull that has a low estimated breeding value (EBV) for birthweight, or one that had a lower birthweight than the average of other bull calves in the same drop. If data on birthweights is unavailable, select a bull of only moderate size or one that has been successfully delivered by a heifer. In general, larger framed bulls tend to have heavier calves at birth.

Mating large-framed bulls to small-framed heifers or cows will increase the risk of calving problems. The practice may also lead to animal welfare problems.

Mating potential - A more conservative approach is needed in the first year, until you have a track record for the performances of yearling bulls on your farm. In these situations, mating loads of only 25–30 females are recommended. The condition of the yearling bulls is critical. If they drop below 2 score condition, sperm production may be impaired.

Summary - In order to harness the potential of yearling bulls there are three crucial management requirements:

1. Join them either alone or with bulls of the same age.
2. Join yearling bulls for 6–8 weeks (2 cycles) only, then spell them for at least 3 months.
3. After removing yearling bulls from their joining groups, place them on high quality feed in specially prepared paddocks.
Experience has shown that many young bulls have been ruined because they have been joined for too long and under conditions that have challenged their survival. If, at any stage, yearling bulls drop below 2 score condition, they should be withdrawn from their joining group immediately.

Acknowledgment - This publication was originally prepared by Sandy Yeates, former Beef Cattle Officer with NSW Agriculture.
Author: Brian Cumming

Bonnydale – Foot note - To ensure you achieve the best from your Bonnydale yearling bull they have been specially selected and specially prepared for service this season. On sale day they will be 12 – 13 months old and by the time you will use him he will be 16 – 17 months old.  

With a little extra care, post mating season, your yearling will grow into the sire you expect. These bulls have been specially prepared for use this season. We recommend that they be used on no more than 30 to 35 cows in the first year. At Bonnydale we have been using yearling bulls for many years with excellent results. Reports from clients confirm our recommendations and the benefits of using yearlings. By giving your yearling bull some special attention you have the opportunity of maximising the use of your sire for his full productive lifetime.

Carcase Scanning - All yearling bulls will be carcase scanned & weighed prior to sale day with updated Breedplan EBV’s and ASA EPD’s available on the day. To comply with Breedplan requirements the bulls must be a minimum 300 days of age at time of scanning. All yearling bulls will also be measured for scrotal size and undergo a veterinary health check and semen test prior to sale.

Well, Mr Mike Ward “Bona Vista” via Rockhampton has done it again.

Twice this year he achieved outstanding results for his steers in competition. In late June this year a steer bred by Mike was awarded Champion Led Steer at the “2016 Rockhampton Junior Beef Show” and then in late July he achieved equally outstanding results at the “2016 Central Queensland Carcase Classic”. At the Central Queensland Carcase Classic, Mike presented two Black Simmental X Brangus steers in two different classes of a total showing of 293 head and went home with a first and second place.

Photo - “Mr Mike Ward, Bona Vista via Rockhampton with is award for Highest Yielding Carcase at the Central Queensland Carcase Classic”.

The Champion Led Steer was exhibited at the Rockhampton Junior Beef Show by the Rockhampton State High School.

The 23 month old Black Simmental X Brangus steer that weighed 650kg live beat 37 steers for the tittle. At the Central Queensland Carcase Classic the first steer was entered in the Grassfed Steer/Heifer, 0 – 4 teeth, 300 – 420kg HSCW with 53 entries and secured a second place with a milk tooth steer by Bonnydale Bettis H204 and out of a Brangus cow. He had a carcase weight of 332kg with an EMA of 98cm and an MSA Index of 60.01. He was beaten to first place by a mere 1.01 points.

Photo - “The Black Simmental X Brangus steer that was crowned Champion Led Steer at the 2016 Rockhampton Junior Beef Show. The steer was exhibited by the Rockhampton State High School”.

Australian Record Black Simmental Cow - April 2016

The Introvigne family, Bonnydale Black Simmental stud, Bridgetown, has negotiated the sale of this young female, Bonnydale Glendive K199, and its heifer calf, for a national Black Simmental record of $22,000 to Valley Creek Simmentals, Bowral, NSW.

Written by - Jodie Rintoul, Farm Weekly.

THE Introvigne family, Bonnydale Black Simmental Stud, has set what is believed to be another Australian record for the Black Simmental breed this year. This time the record is for a female, and was set last week when the stud announced it had sold a cow, with a heifer calf at foot, for $22,000.
The cow and calf unit from the Bridgetown-based stud was purchased in a pick of the herd deal by first-time buyers to the stud, Stuart and Sam Moeck, Valley Creek Simmentals, Bowral, New South Wales.
The 25-month-old cow, Bonnydale Glendive K199, is a third-generation female from the stud’s elite Bonnydale Glendive cow family and is by the powerful and proven sire Bonnydale Black Hawk H274. Its two-month-old heifer calf, Bonnydale M29 is by United States sire Sand Ranch Hand.
The Moecks, who have been running a Black Simmental herd alongside a traditional Simmental herd for six years, inspected the Bonnydale herd at Easter and picked Glendive K199 as their choice. After negotiations with Bonnydale stud principals Mike and Rob Introvigne the deal was done.

Mr Moeck said the main reason behind the purchase was they were looking for new outcross genetics which were different to anything in the Eastern States to start a new cow family in their stud. “We have been looking around for a while and decided to make the trip across and inspect the Bonnydale herd as we knew they would have something that would suit our requirements and objectives,” he said. “I have been involved with Mike on federal council and we have had discussions about their program so I knew the type of cattle they were breeding. “The stud also has the runs on the board, they have had some very successful sales in the past couple of years and the figures for the herd stack up really well.”
The Moecks picked K199 out straight away on both its figures and physical package. “She is a young cow with plenty of potential,” Mr Moeck said. “She is a very tidy female with no faults. However for us her main attraction was her performance figures – she has unbelievable EBVs which rank her very highly in the Simmental breed. She is a standout and we really couldn’t find anything wrong with her. We also inspected her dam, grand dam and sire and were impressed by them as well.”
Bonnydale co-principal Mike Introvigne said Glendive K199 is phenotypically flawless and has performance data that is nothing short of outstanding. Glendive K199’s impressive EBVs include 200-day weight and carcase weights which rank it in the top five per cent of the breed, while it ranks in the top 10pc for calving ease, 400-day weight and docility and top 20pc for birthweight. Added to this is its impressive set of indexes where it has the top value in the breed for the Vealer Terminal index and ranks in the top 5pc for three other indexes Domestic Maternal, Export Maternal and Northern Terminal.
Mr Introvigne said the Glendive cow family is noted for its impressive structural integrity, progeny performance and maternal excellence. “Twenty-three Glendive females are in our herd and all are descendants of the matriarch Bonnydale Glendive C200,” Mr Introvigne said. “There are also many more which reside in other herds across Australia as a result of embryo sales from Glendive C200.”
The Moecks already know exactly how they will use K199 in the stud and are looking forward to getting her back to Bowral “We have just purchased a new sire from Canada so we will flush K199 to it and the progeny from this mating will be a complete outcross to anything else we have in the stud,” Mr Moeck said. “We are quite excited about this cross and are looking forward to seeing the progeny from the mating.”  

This isn’t the first purchase the Moecks have made in WA. In 2013 they purchased a traditional Simmental bull, from the Bullock Hills stud in partnership with the Wormbete stud, Illabo, NSW, from the Farm Weekly WA Supreme bull sale for $17,750.
In February this year Bonnydale set a national record price for a Black Simmental yearling bull when it sold a sire at its on property bull sale for

      Sire - Bonnydale Black Hawk H274Matriarch - Bonnydale Glendive C200

         In September 2015, Rob travelled to the USA to catch up with Willie & Sharon Altenburg at their Super Baldy Ranch in Fort Collins, Colorado, to select some new donor cows for Bonnydale’s embryo program.

Rob, Willie and his good friend Dr Henry Allen of Wayward Hill Farm, Kentucky then embarked on a 3500 mile road trip through Wyoming, Montana, North & South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, on the lookout for some new genetics to enhance their breeding programs. Rob said they met some wonderful people who gave up their time to take them around their ranch and look over their Black Simmental and SimAngus cattle. It was easy to see why the Black Simmental were doing so well in the US, with so many ranches using Black Simmental and SimAngus bulls over their Angus cows with the calves highly sort after for feeder calves and the additional benefit of the SimAngus female for their breeding herd, giving them more weight and carcass yield in their calves, than by using straight bred Angus.

Pictured: Willie Altenburg, Dr Henry Allen and Rob, looking over Willies cattle at Soap Stone Ranch, Colorado

Rob caught up with Dale & Scott Werning, Emery S.D. Werning Ranch. The breeders of W/C Wide Track 694Y which Bonnydale will have the only sons of Widetrack 694Y for sale in Australia on February 8th 2016.

Cattle on Willie and Sharon Altenburg’s Super Baldy Ranch, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Mr.Mike Ward “Bona Vista” via Rockhampton had some great news recently. 

He entered three steers, sired by Bonnydale Bettis H204 and out of a Brangus cows, in the Central Queensland Beef Classic which resulted in one carcase being awarded Reserve Champion of the competition missing out on the top prize by a mere 0.88 of a point. Mike said the steers were entered in the grain assisted section and beat all classes including grain fed and grass fed carcases for the prestigious award.

Photo; Doug Chippendale, SBB Rockhampton presenting Mike Ward, Bona Vista with the Reserve Champion Grass Fed Carcase award and overall Reserve Champion Carcase award at the recent Central Queensland Carcase Classic. An outstanding result in a field of 350 cattle. The carcase was from a steer sired by a Bonnydale Black Simmental bull out of a Brangus cow.


Featuring our 2015 “All Blacks” line-up.

2015 marks the beginning of a new era for Bonnydale Simmental Farms following the dispersal of our traditional Simmental herd after 40 years of breeding. The decision to disperse wasn’t that hard because we have a strong belief that our black program has the ability to offer much more to the Australian beef industry. When you take into consideration all the economically important criteria the decision was made for us. Our Black Simmental cattle exceeded their traditional rivals in every aspect from improved calving ease without compromising growth, carcase value, maternal efficiency and all important doing ability.
Bonnydale Simmental Farms is a family business built on hard work, patience, dedication and an unwavering and passionate commitment to our clients and to the Australian beef industry.
As professional seedstock producers, we continually demand more from our cattle so that you may reap the rewards!
Once again the team at Bonnydale is proud to offer an exciting lineup of Black Simmental and Simangus bulls. These outstanding sires represent a unique opportunity for discerning cattlemen to secure a Simmental genetic package that will help optimise the profitability of their herd.

Bonnydale’s Black Beauties Shine - 2015

Friday 23rd January witnessed something extraordinary at Elders, Boyanup Beef Female Sale.
Introvigne Grazing Company presented 60 magnificent, March 2014 drop, Simangus weaner heifers. With many interested beef producers commenting on the outstanding line of heifers, prior to the sale, you knew something special was going to happen when they walked into the selling ring. They were being offered first up in the unmated section in four pens of fifteen head.

The classy and silky soft heifers calmly walked into the ring to show all in attendance that they are part of a beef industry revolution as the beef female of the future. Under the professional eye of auctioneer Alec Williams the bids on the first lot flew thick and fast with Daniel Delaney, Delaney Livestock Services securing the winning bid at $1,300 for client EW & AF Buegge, Manjimup. Not deterred, losing bidder, Elders agent Terry Tarbotton on behalf of a client tried valiantly to secure the second pen but Daniel had other ideas and won the bidding frenzy at $1,310. The two continued the dual on the next two lots, leaving all others to wonder how to get a chance on these superb heifers but Daniel won the day at $1,340 and $1,350 respectively for the final two pens. All four pens went to EW & AF Buegge repeating there effort last year. Daniel was the successful buyer of the Introvigne Simangus heifers last year and together with the buyer have been so impressed with the performance and temperament of the heifers there was no way they were going to miss out this year.

An important part of the Bonnydale Program is client support and service.

Each year we take the opportunity to visit clients to inspect progeny of Bonnydale sires and evaluate the performance of Bonnydale genetics. It is a great opportunity to learn more about our clients business and what they require to take their beef business forward. Most importantly we have developed many good friendships throughout Australia.

In mid-August 2015 Mike visited clients in Queensland and covered 2,000km by road from Brisbane to Jardine, north of Rockhampton, across to Emerald then down to Springsure, on to Roma and back to Brisbane. Not only was it great to catch up with clients but it provided an opportunity to inspect the diverse conditions in this small part of Queensland. Bonnydale bulls are working well and the progeny to date are showing a lot of promise.

In late August Rob toured Victoria and South Australia with Ian Collie. Four days of hard driving saw them cover a lot of ground inspecting thousands of cattle and gaining further insight into what is required of Bonnydale genetics in that part of the country. It is pleasing to note that Bonnydale’s bulls not only perform well in a variety of conditions but their progeny are performing as or better than expected. This provides us with confidence that our genetic program is on target. Our alliance with Willie Altenburg’s ASR Simmentals will continue to provide us with quality genetics to further the genetic progress for our clients.

This month we continue visiting our WA clients, with a large number of valued supporters of the Bonnydale program here in WA, we unfortunately don’t get to see everyone every year. With the dispersal of our traditional Simmental herd near complete we have been encouraged by the support for our black program and look forward to the rewards clients will achieve from our black genetics. The move to disperse the traditional herd after 41 years of breeding wasn’t taken lightly but is a result of the superior qualities inherent in our Black Simmental and Simangus cattle. From calving ease through to powerful early growth, superior carcase merit and exceptional docility and doing ability and the increasing requirement for black coated cattle, the decision was made for us. In our own commercial herd we only use Black Simmental and Simangus sires with the majority of our commercial cows being Simangus. The demand for our Simangus females is also growing at rapid pace and we look forward to this demand reaching our clients over the coming seasons.

Purchase of MTTR Jenny 521W - 2012

Published January 5, 2012
The Bonnydale Simmental stud, Bridgetown has added to its genetic pool with the purchase of a Black Simmental cow in the United States. The stud bought the cow in partnership with Colorado breeder Willie Altenburgh, ASR Simmentals.
Bonnydale’s Mike and Rob Introvigne agreed the cow, MTTR Jenny 521W, fits in extremely well with their enterprise at Bridgetown. “This superb young cow will provide us with out cross genetics via embryos and fits in perfectly with our enterprise,” Mike Introvigne said.
Mr Altenburg added that her expected progeny differences (EPDs) were perfect and the cow gives both families many mating possibilities. “She possesses tremendous depth of rib, correctness of feet and legs and has a beautiful femininity for her mass and muscle,” he said. “Not only is she a beautiful young cow, but she has a very famous big sister.” MTTR Jenny 521W’s sister DR Built Like A Dream was sold by Donna and Pat Ruth, Iowa, USA, for US$60,000 at the 2007 North American Select Simmental sale in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr Altenburg said she has since gone on to be a prolific donor cow and now resides at the Sanders Ranch in Kansas. “We had the opportunity to purchase MTTR Jenny 521W from Mick Meiklejohn, Colorado, who purchased several embryos from the Ruth family and we jumped at the chance,” Mr. Altenburg said. MTTR Jenny 521W - the new star of Bonnydale Simmental stud.

Extended Alliance with Altenburg Ranch - 2011

Published April 5, 2011

Our significant investment in the exciting Black Simmental genetics is set to continue via an extended alliance with Altenburg Simmental Ranch, Colorado USA. This extended alliance will see Bonnydale continue to import Black Simmental embryos for the continued development of their own program.
Black Simmentals allow producers of black coated cattle the opportunity to utilise the dynamic performance attributes of these cattle while maintaining a black herd. Not only will the benefits reflect in calf performance via Hybrid Vigour but also in the Maternal Hybrid Vigour of the retained black coated F1 females.

Rob and Diane, Bonnydale Simmental Farms, Willie Altenberg, Altenburg Simmental Ranch, Colorado, USA, Julie and Mike,Bonnydale Simmental Farms. .

Response from Dr Wade Shafer PH. D - 2011
Published March 9, 2011

Following is a response to a question we asked Dr Wade Shafer Ph .D, Director Performance Programs, American Simmental Association.


The feed efficiency debate is being used to promote the use of Angus females instead of crossbreeding with Simmental to produce crossbred females that will enhance net returns of Australian cowherds. We know this to be an ill-informed debate and would like your views on the research you have conducted.


Hello Mike,

Ah yes. Efficiency. It’s a word used a lot, but understood a little. When it comes to comparing breeds, probably the most extensive effort to get at efficiency was undertaken by scientists at MARC. The study is summarized in their report 22 (attached). From that you can see that Simmental stack up well. You might be surprised to hear me say this (especially since Simmental looked good in report 22: attached), but efficiency really shouldn’t be your customer’s target. First off, given the fact we don’t, and maybe never will measure intake (a trait absolutely essential in determining efficiency), it’s difficult to get our arms around efficiency–which makes it a difficult trait to hang your hat on. Even if we could measure intake, when we account for levels of growth, the composition of that growth, and production the genetic differences left between animals for efficiency is small.

Rather than focusing on efficiency I would encourage commercial cattlemen to focus on what they can impact. When it comes to cow/calf production, cow size is a major player in profitability. Bigger cows need more to eat. In addition to size, milking ability is the other major determinant of a cow’s nutritional requirement. More milk means more eats–even when they are idling. If the producer thinks they are cutting costs in these areas by using Angus, they are off base. In both areas, because of their dramatic increase in growth and milk, Angus is now roughly equivalent to Simmental. If the operator wants to keep feed costs and stocking rates down (and improve profit), they need to select sires that produce smaller, lower milking cows. And, since the breeds are equal for milk and size, they should have no more trouble finding what they need in Simmental than they do in Angus.

Another solid reason to use Simmental on Angus is that they complement each other’s carcass strengths and weaknesses so well. Straight Angus cattle are notorious for running into yield grade problems. Sure, they marble well; however, when you start running into 4s and 5s it really hits the bottom line. That problem is taken care of in one fell swoop when Simmental is incorporated. And, if upper end marbling Simmental sires are selected, the producer will still have high levels of choice grading carcasses.

The previous reasons for using Simmental pale in comparison to the major reason–hybrid vigor! Hybrid vigor has a large impact on productivity and a huge impact on fertility. Due to hybrid cows weaning heavier calves and the fact they last longer your producer could see up to a 30% boost in weaning weight produced over a cow’s lifetime. That should perk the ears up of even the most blinded Angus believers.

I have attached an article (crossbr.forgotten) and ppt (crossbr.gosey) by Jim Gosey the long-time University of Nebraska Beef Cattle Extension Specialist that explains the value of a crossbred cow. Hopefully, this will open up your producer’s eyes. Don’t expect them to change right away, but with enough guidance and encouragement you may be able to turn the tide. After all, you’ve got science and the truth on your side.

A commitment to breed improvement - 2011

Published January 22, 2011

A Commitment To Breed Improvement
By Marty Ropp, Director Field Services, American Simmental Association.

Simmental breeders are working hard to provide the most complete Continental package for the U.S. beef industry. You might ask yourself, what exactly does that entail? It is the pursuit of a genetic package that perfectly complements British breeds, ensures ideal crossbred replacement females for commercial producers and promises an end product with the necessary balance of quality and cutability. No other Continental breed provides the combination of maternal excellence and carcass value that Simmentals bring to the table.Just glance at the latest results from the USDA Meat Animal Research Centre germ plasm project. You will find Simmental at or near the top among Continental breeds for almost every economically important trait ranging from fertility to efficiency to marbling. In fact, Simmentals rank first for most of the important traits evaluated.

The main reason SimGenetics compete so well among their competitors is the long standing breeder dedication to using genetic evaluation and cutting edge selection technology to constantly improve their product. Today’s American Simmental cattle are easier calving, more moderate in terms of mature size and more maternally useful than at any time in history. In addition, our long running carcass progeny testing program gave Simmental breeders a head start, by providing the information needed to improve carcass and performance traits. Finally, our commitment to a multi breed philosophy for genetic evaluation has given members and their customers the tools needed to manage heterosis and capture valuable genes available in the industry.

If someone developed an injectable product that would increase lifetime productivity of a cow by 25 percent, producers would stand in line to buy it. They would run their cows through a chute four times a year if necessary, just to take advantage of this huge increase in production. This product does not exist in a bottle, but can be found in semen tanks and bull development yards everywhere.
It’s called heterosis. Research has shown time after time that it works to the tune of about 25 percent increase in lifetime cow productivity. It’s no wonder the biggest trend in U.S. beef genetics is once again crossbreeding. With the huge potential that hybrid vigor offers to increase profitability, it is at the edge of negligence for seedstock producers to not encourage their customers to take advantage of it. Whether producers manage a breed crossing system or utilise composite seedstock to simplify the process, planned crossbreeding makes commercial cattlemen money!

One of the greatest changes to crossbreeding systems is the development of genetic evaluations that combine breed effects with individual genetic merit to predict production outcomes for commercial herds. With these advances, there is no need to consider anything but the best and most proven germ plasm available for your crossbreeding needs.