Jono Cochrane now has the run of the family farm in South Otago since his parents moved to the Lakes District but he and his dad John continue to collaborate when it is time to introduce new genetics to their herd of black cattle.

Delmont Angus co-owner Jono and Terri Cochrane now live alone on the 1660ha sheep and beef family farm in Kuriwao Valley, since his dad and mum, John and Tracey, shifted off-farm to live in Wanaka.

The stock on the farm includes about 260 registered stud Angus cows and about 8500 Perendale ewes.

Jono Cochrane said he and his father had similar breeding objectives.

‘‘There’s not too much we disagree on.’’

They went to bull sales together and would continue this season because ‘‘two sets of eyes were better than one’’ and it gave them a chance to question each other’s selection decisions.

‘‘It’s good to work together,’’ Jono Cochrane said.

He said he would be looking for a moderate bull with meat in the right places, with a nice head and jaw and a good balance of estimated breeding values.

The ‘‘first and foremost’’ traits he chased were fertility and calving ease.

Betting on black . . . Angus bull Delmont 5236 sold for the top
price of $12,000 at an on-farm sale in South Otago last month.

Growth rates were also important.

‘‘You want a moderate cow, which can still give you the growth.’’

As the growing seasons were short in the district, it was important to be able to send cattle away before their second winter.

‘‘That’s where the profitability of cattle comes in.’’

He also chased improving intramuscular fat in his herd but not at the expense of the other traits.

‘‘It is the chocolate on top of the ice cream — if the ice cream melts, it’s not a whole lot of use.’’ Delmont Angus held its 23rd annual on-farm sale on May 23.

Of the 29 rising 2-year-old Angus bulls on offer, 27 sold for an average of $7650 including a top price of $12,000 for lot 7.

The buyer of lot 7, Delmont 5236, was Roger Landels, of Kuriwao, who farms about 5km down the road.

Jono said most of the buyers had bought from them before, many for ‘‘years and years’’.

‘‘We are happy our repeat clients keep on coming back.’’

The average sale price was ‘‘steady’’.

‘‘We are fairly happy with the result.’’

A reason for the steady average price could be because farmers had received smaller ‘‘lamb cheques’’ this year impacting the amount of money they had available to invest in bulls.

‘‘Those cheques pay for the bulls.’’

Generally, the buyers at the sale ran about 80% sheep and 20% cattle.

As lamb prices were down and on-farm inflation was ‘‘going through the roof’’, farmers had to keep an eye on their bottom line, he said.

‘‘Which is fair enough.’’

The aim of the stud would be to continue offering quality bulls.

‘‘We need to keep putting up good bulls and get a few more clients up the driveway, which might push the average up a little bit.’’