Indeed, many past programs that granted Australian Brahman heifers to smallholders have failed, evidenced by the fact that the cattle did not return to pregnancy after their first calf. This is very important for commercial viability, as low calving intervals indicate healthy and productive cattle, and are essential to herd growth.
The very good news is that within SISKA we have been able to achieve strong calving intervals averaging about 14 months, and 15 months for cut and carry models. It is too early to determine average calving intervals from the open grazing as it is still in its second cycle.
These SISKA calving results compare favourably with those found in Northern Australia (15-16 months) and against that experienced by local cattle in Indonesia which at best achieve 17 months with many above 20. Within government circles this news has been very positively received.