Gnowangerup producer Arthur Parker has cemented his place in the WAMMCO record books by winning the cooperative’s July Producer of the Month title for the second consecutive year.
Last year, in a good season, he won the title with a line of 280 Suffolk/Merino cross lambs that averaged 26.21 kg to return $93.79 per head including skin.
This year, - one of the most difficult he has encountered at Gnowangerup -, his winning line of 175 Suffolk/Merino cross lambs weighed an average of 26.03 kg and returned $89.39.
In 2005, he shifted the primary ration for his lambs from lupins to wheaten hay and oats to keep fat scores under control.
This year’s poor season ensured that fat was not a problem, in fact 98.9 percent of lambs in the winning consignment were in the preferred score 2 and 3 category.
He said his property “Ever-Rest” was in an exceptionally dry pocket of country to the north of Gnowangerup, and had recorded only about 16 mm of rainfall between January and June.
“I had to buy in hay and pellets to see me through and managed to secure just enough to finish the last consignment that went to WAMMCO last week,” he said.
A good rain in July has since significantly altered the pasture picture, and enabled him to recently complete his seeding program.
He said this year’s three consignments of lambs were again delivered under WAMMCO contracts, with the winning line of 175 lambs processed on July 17 to return $3.29 per kilogram.
Arthur has not owned a sheepdog for many years and has developed a ‘low stress’ system of stock management based on ‘drifting mobs between paddocks and to and from yards without unsettling them. He also uses a technique of trailing out feed to allow for shy feeders, and to minimise the ‘tail’ in each mob.
News of his WAMMCO win came just after he celebrated his 71st birthday.
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