Esperance Lambs Take August Title
As their lambs were taking out the WAMMCO Producer of the Month title for August 2010 at an average of $5.25 per kilo, a draft of cattle from Kevin and Simone Defrenne’s Grass Patch property were being sold at just $2.70 per kg.
And with his SAMM/Dorper cross ewes now producing 160 percent lambs from two matings, it is no surprise that the Esperance family is shifting its livestock production focus to lamb.
The winning Defrennelly Farms consignment of 163 SAMM/Dorper lambs was processed at Katanning on August 25 and weighed an average of 22.27 kg to return $116.83 per kg at $5.25 per kg.
A WAMMCO Select bonus totalled $202.61 for 35 qualifying lambs, adding 5.6 c/kg, or $1.24 per head over the entire consignment.
Kevin said he and his brother Paul had been substantial Merino flockowners until the early 1990’s.
At first they introduced White Suffolk rams and Kevin later moved to SAMM crosses in a swing to prime lamb.
Since farming in his own right with wife Simone, they have recently introduced Dorper rams to the mix and believe they now have a good basis for future growth.
Two years ago he decided to put the rams back over the ewes after their winter lambing and lifted his percentage from the two matings to 160. About 18 months ago he also purchased “at the right money”, a line of Merino ewes that were preg tested to Dorper rams. More recently he purchased another another draft of 280 SAMM ewes to increase numbers and vigour. Dale Boyd of Elders Esperance assists in a classing capacity.
Kevin uses a ration of hammer milled barley and peas through 6 tonne capacity moylan feeders to keep his ewes and lambs in top condition. Medic-based pastures are also a major contributor to finishing lambs.
“We are mainly a cropping operation and this year’s prospects were good until September,” he said this week. “We still expect a reasonable harvest, but the lamb enterprise has certainly been a sound alternative.”
The August 2010 Producer of the Month win was a first for Defrenn’ly Farms.
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