A bonus payment of $292.25 from WAMMCO Select boosted the winning returns for WAMMCO’s Producers of the Month for January, 2009, the Jensen family of “Uralla”, Pingaring.
Previous Producers of the Month for April 2005, the family won the January 2009 award with a line of 124 first cross Merino/Prime SAMM lambs averaging 23.4 kg over the scales to return $101.37 per head. WAMMCO’s Producer of the Month is now determined under a new set of criteria, based on the highest percentage of WAMMCO Select lambs in a consignment of more than 100 crossbred lambs. A further criteria is that the consignment must be heavier than 22 kg hot carcase weight.
The winning ’Uralla’ draft included 60 lambs – or 48.4 percent of the 124 lambs - that qualified for a WAMMCO Select premium and these carcases attracted an average premium of $4.87. The cooperative began paying WAMMCO Select bonuses on January 12, just two days before the winning draft was processed.
Top individual lambs in the consignment were valued at $4.40 per kg on the day to return up to $119.68 per head.
Craig Jensen said 230 mm of rain since October last year had germinated barley stubble paddocks, enabling lambs to be turned off in peak condition without the cost of hand feeding or feed-lotting.
Craig and sister Rachael run the prime lamb enterprise on “Uralla” with father Peter and mother Isla. Brother Rob runs an Angus-based commercial cattle feedlot. The family continued to use Prime SAMM stud rams from their own stud over Nepowie blood ewes, but recently purchased a neighbouring property and bought an extra 1000 mated ewes in a move to increase future prime lamb production.
Craig said the lamb enterprise had been a vital cashflow contributor during 2008/09. “Until September last year, we had bumper crops, but severe frost cut the yields by well over half.”
The family regards the introduction of WAMMCO Select as a positive step by the cooperative and will move not only to steadily expand prime lamb production, but also to target the new premiums. Craig said low skin prices had resulted in the 124 lambs in the consignment being shorn about three weeks before delivery to Katanning, with the wool proceeds more than covering shearing costs. He said the family had continued to accumulate WAMMCO shares, but was currently not using forward contracts because daily schedule prices were attractive and they were able to book their lambs for processing without difficulty.
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