A long tradition of mating big numbers of Merino ewes to Poll Dorset rams, and the option of selling crossbred lambs off their mothers, on-property to WAMMCO on a fixed price - no grade basis as well as weight and grade, continues to pay significant dividends for Mt.Barker/Kojaneerup producer and former WAMMCO director, Bruce Wright.
Bruce and son Graham are amongst WAMMCO’S biggest lamb contributors, averaging around 7,500 crossbred lambs again in 2012. The family also crops 1,000 hectares of canola and another 1,000 ha of barley and is progressively increasing the area of kikuyu pasture on the Kojaneerup property.
“I was a strong director advocate for a lamb price on-farm, because I believed WAMMCO’s previous system of weight and grade selling only, was too restrictive for many producers,” Bruce said last week.
“Many of those producers have since become members and contributors to WAMMCO , especially those selling in the Spring lamb flush, substantially helping the cooperative to increase the volume and diversity of its product.”
Bruce was elected by shareholders in 2003 and served on the WAMMCO board until his retirement in 2010.
The Wright family’s Kojaneerup property recently delivered a single consignment of 2092 crossbred lambs to Katanning on April 24 that weighed an average of 24.35 kg and returned $119.32 kg per head.
The Merino/Poll Dorset cross lambs were delivered in three road trains after being drafted by WAMMCO buyer Wayne Radford, who also negotiated the on-property price of $4.70 per kg.
“We received good December rains that generated excellent regrowth in our barley stubbles, as well as strong growth in a 40 hectare area of kikuyu, to carry the lambs through in such great weight and condition.”
Bruce said he and Graham mate about 9,000 Merino ewes each year, - just over 7,000 to Poll Dorset rams from the Hillcroft and Brimfield studs, and the balance to Merino rams from the local Billandri Merino stud.
“We have sacrificed a little with the Merinos on the number of lambs we drop, but the improving wool price this year returned an average of $40 per head from the ewe flock.
“The difficulty now, with so much crossbreeding taking place, is to find enough suitable replacement Merino ewes,” Bruce said.
The former director expects Spring lamb prices in WA to average about $80 per head this year and believes the price should still be attractive to producers. He also maintains that WAMMCO rebates should apply to shareholder lambs sold on-farm.
“Compared to the $30 or so we were receiving not so many years ago, and the currency, overseas demand and other problems now facing the industry, I believe WAMMCO will be doing well to hold values at an $80 per head average.”
Media Release 28/07/2022 Western Australia’s largest sheep and lamb processing cooperative will return a record $8.4 million in pool bonuses to its producer members at the end of August 2022. The 2021/22 ...Read more
Media Release 14/07/22 Des Griffiths, an early CEO of the WA Meat Marketing Cooperative, credited with helping WA lamb producers to reshape an influential global lamb processing and marketing cooperative, passed ...Read more
Media Release (20-06-2022) Recently appointed Livestock Manager for WAMMCO, Mike Curnick is looking forward to capping his 37-year career in WA’s livestock sector in the lamb and ...Read more
A distinguished career in the meat processing and livestock industry will end with the retirement of the WA Meat Marketing Cooperative’s Livestock Manager Peter Krupa on June 30. Mr ...Read more
A later than normal delivery of prime Merino/SAMM lambs straight off abundant stubbles from the bumper season, helped Tim Alexander and his family of Timaru Beverley to capture WAMMCO&...Read more