Boyd Arthur uses the Cyclone to stimulate grass growth – and reduce winter feed costs – on his 500-acre pedigree Tropical Angus cattle farm on the Sunshine Coast in Australia.
On the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is the town of Noosa Hinterland, which is surrounded by stunning beaches and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Nestled in that countryside, Boyd Arthur rears some 200 head of pedigree Tropical Angus – Ultra-black Cattle for breeding stock under an intensive farming system. High stocking rates and attention to detail in grassland management are one of the keys to his success. “Consistent pasture management can significantly enhance animal condition and reduce purchased feed costs throughout the winter,” says Boyd.
Originally, Boyd’s family farmed one of the largest, privately-owned mango orchards in the Northern Territory. He moved to Noosa to set up his 500 acre pedigree stud farm less than three years ago. The climate around Noosa produces high levels of rainfall, which is ideal for crop growth, so his intensive grassland management system means he can have high stocking rates with an extended grazing profile right into the winter months. “Toppers are one of the most important tools on our livestock farm,” commented Boyd. “We’ve used shredders and cutters before and I needed to ensure that my pasture management started off on the right foot. So I took a look at what was on the market from my local dealer. There are a lot of products from China and South-east Asia, which are okay, but they are very heavy or are often difficult to maintain and getting parts can be difficult. I’m not a mechanic and so ease of maintenance for me, like greasing and blade-changing is a big plus, and let’s face it, in any walk of life, you get what you pay for!”
Boyd had a demonstration of the Cyclone cutter that was being offered through his local dealer. “I’d heard good things about the quality of Major machinery. I have to say that the demonstration went very well. I was so impressed, that I told the dealer to leave the machine on my farm. It now plays a vital role in my total pasture management.”
Manufactured from Strenx® High-tensile steel, the Cyclone is ideal in tough conditions but is exceptionally suited to mulching. “At the end of the season, we usually set the Cyclone low at three or four inches, to slightly scalp the ground but not killing the grass,” added Boyd. “We then over-sow the mulched pasture and get a great, clean turf establishment, much faster than traditional establishment methods. The clean cut capability of the Cyclone means it stimulates grass growth and we get stronger crops much quicker, which results in a young green leaf and in turn, good cattle growth. Grass will always respond faster to a clean cut and that’s very obvious with the Major Cyclone. It’s a superb piece of kit.”
The entire 500 acre farm is topped four times a year using the Major Cyclone, driven by 100 hp John Deere tractors “The build quality, reliability factor and ease of maintenance are the main reasons I decided on the Major cutter,” enthused Boyd. “It comes fully galvanized, with no paint, so much more durable and long lasting. It also has very few daily service points, which means we can get on with the job. One very big plus point is that it’s gear-driven and doesn’t have belts. As anyone who has had experience of belt-driven equipment, that is the weakest point. There are plenty of belt-driven mowers out there – but not for me.”
Through his attention to detail across every component of his breeding stock business, Boyd Arthur’s herd of Tropical Angus cattle have already established a reputation for being high-quality and highly valued. “My Major Cyclone is a pivotal part of my grassland management system, which means I can grow more crop. And the grass seems to respond better with the use of the Cyclone. So I’m farming a minimal acreage with a high-stocking rate and at the same time, reducing my feed bills considerably through the winter. I think I’ve got it just about right,” he concluded.