On the “Dunluce” property website, the proud family who run it outline their vision as “to operate a successful and ecologically sustainable grazing enterprise in a happy and harmonious family and team environment.”
Ninian Stewart-Moore is the third generation on the property and holds the values of his father and grandfather dear to him. Now it’s his son Jack, who is also the property manager, who is holding true to the ‘Dunluce’ vision.
The 46, 500 ha property can be found between the Flinders River and the Flinders Highway near Hughenden in north-west Queensland.
The original site for the homestead was selected in 1906 by James Stewart-Moore, and added to over time. The 24, 000 property ‘Telemon’ was purchased in 1948. Until the 1950s the property was primarily sheep until foundation stock of the Droughtmaster breed were introduced.
Today, approximately 7, 000 LSU AV Droughtmaster cows are run on the property for a variety of breeding, growing and trading. Ninian Stewart-Moore says seasons essentially dictate their marketing, but stores to feedlot, live export and slaughter make up their main end markets.
The working family – that includes Ninian’s wife Ann – also have an added income stream through leasing artesian irrigation to a neighbour.
Around 475 milimetres of rain falls on the property in a good year, and the majority of the country worked is undulating Mitchell grass downs, matched with a smaller per cent of alluvial forest along the Flinders.
The family have embraced the NRMSH project and are keen to put the technology to work to help with better pasture management and property infrastructure planning; specifically looking at managing grazing and better identifying paddock designs.
“Better information equals better decisions,” Ninian Stewart-Moore said.
The Stewart-Moore’s have tried mapping programs before and say being able to access the latest data and information is imperative to staying one step ahead.
“In today’s economic climate, even the top 10 per cent are struggling to survive,” Mr Stewart-Moore said. “We have to be on top of the game.”
He cites his biggest challenge for the years ahead as not receiving a fair price for what producers are offering the market.
“Marketing systems are letting us down,” Mr Stewart-Moore said. “Duopolies in beef processing and food retailing are dictating our destinies.”
But he says it’s the knowledge that business and the climate run in cycles keep him going in drought and tough times.
Above all, his values and passion remain; managing the country for sustainability and improvement, making a profit and helping to run an enjoyable business are his main goals for 2015.