A committed return to prime lamb production is paying a range of dividends for WAMMCO’s December Producer of the Month winners Ian Reynolds and his son-in-law Chris Syme of Greyhome Farming Co., Cunderdin.
Greyhome won the December title with a draft of 327 Poll Dorset, Merino Cross lambs averaging 27 kg and worth $93 a head on a WAMMCO contract.
Like many producers, Ian and Chris abandoned lamb and wool production to go cropping in the 1980’s, although Ian maintained his successful Greyhome Poll Dorset stud for some years into the total cropping era.
A lift in the meat market and a refocus by WAMMCO to heavy, prime quality lamb production – as well as an increasing awareness that there were weed control and other legacies associated with total cropping, brought Greyhome back into lamb production.
“We started with a few hundred Merino ewes and built up to the point where we will mate 2,000 ewes to Poll Dorset rams this season,” Ian said.
“We have also dropped lambs in July and August for later delivery to WAMMCO, feeding them on lupin stubbles and finishing them in a 2 ha, shaded paddock on monitored rations of straight lupins and quality oaten hay.”
Ian said he was surprised that many farmers still questioned the returns from lamb production because of the extra work involved.
“What other industry can offer the money-in-the-bank levels available from lamb at the moment?” he asked.
The return to a pasture-based rotation was also providing other bonuses to the farming operations at Greyhome.
Ian said he was particularly pleased to see WAMMCO become a producer cooperative and to shift its focus onto prime lamb marketing. He described WAMMCO’s lamb supply contracts as brilliant.
Lambplan was the other key to WA’s lamb production success because it had enabled farmers to select the leaner, heavier breeding animals demanded by WAMMCO. Ian said Greyhome was also lucky to be sourcing all of it’s breeding stock from Lambplan subscriber John Jasper of “Jolmar” Poll Dorset stud of Cunderdin.
“As a prime lamb producer of many years, I am pleased to see the family now taking an intense interest in our lambs and how they perform,” he said.
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