Weight and grade promoter Eric Heal and his sharefarmer partner Ray Lines were the clear winners of WAMMCO’s Producer of the Month award for February with a contract line of 200 Poll Dorset cross lambs averaging an impressive, 24.97 kg fat score 2-3.
The lambs were processed at WAMMCO Katanning on February 23 with 92 percent enjoying the premium class, $3.10 per kg contract rate, signed in September.
The partners use Poll Dorset rams from both Dongadilling and Chris Squiers’ Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset rams in a mating programme that produces 1000-1200 lambs through into August each year.
A ewe flock of around 3000 provides both the prime crossbreds and replacement Merino ewes for the enterprise.
“We aim to sell 50 percent or more as suckers and carry the balance on our own feedlot rations of lupins, oats and hay.” Eric said.
WAMMCO contracts had been used for the first time this year to underwrite the feeding program with further consignments due to go to Katanning in March and April.
Eric and Judith formed a sharefarming partnership with Ray for the Heal property at Beverley in 1999, with Eric passing on to his partner the farming, lamb breeding and stock management skills he has used successfully since he founded his Dongadilling Poll Dorset stud in 1961.
“We were early supporters of weight and grade selling through Anchorage butchers because this system took some of the guesswork out of breeding as well as marketing. It was an early indicator to me of the ability of Poll Dorsets to produce growth and muscle,” Eric said.
“Now we are assessing how best to use VIASCAN data in our breeding programme.”
Eric said it was pleasing to see WAMMCO establishing and successfully serving valuable export markets based on heavier, higher quality lambs. He said effective competition was also essential to provide producers with a range of product and quality options.
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