Ross and Bill O’Keeffe of Stirling Park, Gnowangerup have been regular “top scorers” with their consignments of lamb to WAMMCO over the past few years, but set new precedents for the cooperative’s Producer of the Month award for August with a large draft of 1,194 lambs that averaged 28 kg per head.
Bill O’Keeffe said the season at Gnowangerup had been “late, and poor early” but had improved since July, enabling them to turn off their winning July/August 05 lambs with minimal supplementary feeding of lupins in the paddock.
“The shorter season means that we will have less paddock feed left to go through the summer, but hopefully we will have a reasonable grain harvest,” Bill said.
The 1,194 head draft was slaughtered at Katanning on August 21, with more than 76 percent weighing above 26 kg, to return an average per carcase (including $5 for skin) of $101.77. Eighty seven percent of the big draft came in as fat scores 3 and 4.
Later consignments of around 1600 February/March drop sucker lambs delivered to Katanning over recent weeks also produced high returns.
The O’Keeffes maintain a self-replacing flock of around 7000 Merino ewes on “Stirling Park”, mating their cull ewes to Poll Dorset rams to produce two drops of prime lambs a year.
Bill said the family had followed this successful formula for several years, helped by ‘ace’ sheepman George Noakes.
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