Nearly 900 prime Poll Dorset/Merino cross prime lambs left the tight season at Walkaway near Geraldton for the WAMMCO plant at Katanning on March 12, to win the March Producer of the Month title for Randal Levett and his parents Derek and Sheryl of Tipperary Farm.
The consignment numbered 886 lambs weighing an average of 24.91 kg and went under contract at $3.31 per kg, to return $82.40 per head. 76.3 percent of the draft achieved the premium 22.1 to 26 kg fat score 2 and 3 premium category.
Randal said an extra $7.30 average per head for skins took the total return per lamb to $89.70, indicating the bonuses available to producers for well-presented Poll Dorset-type skins.
He said the lambs were off pasture and finished on white lupin stubble and had not required feedlotting to finish.
“With lamb prices down on previous years, and the current price of feed as it is, we will have to decide if the next drafts go off earlier, or if we will feedlot them to reach higher
Randal said the conversion of the wool enterprise on Tipperary to prime lamb started about ten years ago. The Tipperary stud uses Australia’s top Poll Dorset genetics through AI to produce enough quality rams for the lamb enterprise with a number also available for sale to nearby producers.
“The lamb enterprise involves about 8,000 ewes and fits well with our cropping rotation, relying on a good balance of white lupin stubbles as the finishing medium. A significant investment in genetics, and use of Lambplan complete the circle.”
Suitable Merino ewes have been purchased to complement the breeding flock each season, but the Levetts currently have this policy under review.
Randall said the first two years of WAMMCO contracts had provided a major boost to the lamb enterprise, with one line returning $128 per head.
“With today’s lower prices, tighter seasons and an average freight cost of nearly $6 per head to Katanning, there is increasing pressure on us for higher productivity.
“All of our lambs are weighed on the property, we work closely with WAMMCO staff, and are keen users of product feedback from WAMMCO.”
Further details: Randal Levett 0428 261055. Media: Geoff Gare 953 77669
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