Warnings from WAMMCO over the increase in Ovis cysts in lambs have been echoed by the Cooperative’s Producer of the Month for August, Bremer Bay producer John Iffla.
John said Ovis in store lambs he had imported had reduced his net returns by about 10 percent in recent lamb drafts to WAMMCO.
“That is a big penalty to pay and vendor producers should heed the WAMMCO warnings about de-worming and controlling their dogs to avoid spreading Ovis,” he said.
The successful lamb enterprise run by John, wife Joanne and daughters Hannah and Saffron, is based on buying in Merino ewes for mating to Poll Dorset and Coolalee rams, and in years of excess feed such as this season, also adding a complement of store lambs.
His competence in selecting good quality Merino ewes was also recently reflected in high price for his wool clip at a recent sale.
“This has been a good season for us with solid opening rains in April/May, a dry June July to generate and harden the feed and then good finishing rains.
“We aim to get two thirds of the lambs off early to WAMMCO in July August and then grow out the bottom one third on stubbles for later delivery.”
John said he had ‘done the sums’ on feedlotting but could not ‘make them work’.
The family moved to Bremer Bay after selling their property at Newdegate four years ago and have extensively upgraded the property about 20 km from Bremer Bay, particularly with new pastures and a heavy fertiliser program that is now showing excellent results.
They have been delivering between 5,000 and 6,000 prime lambs for WAMMCO for the past two years and John says his annual business with the Cooperative accounts for about two thirds of the farm enterprise.
The Iffla’s winning draft consisted of 905 lambs processed at Katanning on August 2, following an initial draft of 800 lambs the previous day.
He chose not to use WAMMCO contracts this year because of the excellent season, but normally uses the security of the contracts to underwrite his ewe and store lamb purchases.
The winning 905 draft averaged 22.82 kg and returned $3.30 per kg with a skin price of $3.45, to average $78.88 per head. 35.4 percent were in the 18.1 – 22kg class, 40.2 percent were in the 22.1-28kg, Fat Score 2 & 3 class and 24.4 percent were outside the premium classes and included those downgraded for Ovis.
John is a foundation shareholder and keen supporter of WAMMCO. He has continued to add to his shareholding because he believes in backing his industry, and he is supportive of WAMMCO’s moves to direct more benefits to shareholders.
“Rob Davidson, Peter Krupa, Fiona and others are also a helpful team to deal with.”
John said he would like to see WAMMCO develop more opportunities within the system for lighter lambs, possibly on the local market.
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