WAMMCO’s July Producer of the Month title has been awarded to Warrick and Lynda Cooper of Mt. Barker/South Stirlings for the second consecutive year.
Rules of the competition allow producers to win only one title in any year, but a pattern is emerging where some producers are recurring winners in the same month each year.
The Coopers’ second win is significant because like their winning July 2007 entry, this years’ draft of 400 lambs was also straight off pastures and barley stubbles without supplementary feed.
Another similar draft of slightly lighter lambs run under identical conditions went to a local processor and came back with discounts on 40 lambs for grass seed, contrasted with no WAMMCO dockages for grass seed contamination.
Warrick said WAMMCO’s feedback system was a major feature for him because he liked to know how his lambs performed.
The latest winning draft was smaller than last year but the lambs averaged 26.37 kg for a price on the day of 349 c/kg to return $96.93 per head including a skin value of $4.93. The 2007 entry averaged 24.2 kg and sold for 369 c/kg with a skin value of $5.79 to return an average per head of $95.12.
Warrick said there were more late lambs due to the tough season last year and good opening rains in April 2008 had enabled him to carry these through to good weights.
“We aim to turn-off around 2,000 lambs in the 22 kg plus weight category in spring because we don’t believe the incentives are there to produce out of season,” he said.
Some of the 30 kg plus lambs in the draft realised more than $118 per head, compared with around $70 for a few light lambs.
White Suffolk rams from Mt. Barker neighbour Robert Bush are used over Merino ewes to produce the winning prime lamb cross.
Warrick retains his faith in wool and continues to maintain an even balance of Merinos. Shipping wether prices of around $70 help to justify the Merino enterprise.
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