THE originator of Dowerin's prime lamb production trio Darrel Hudson, Yleena Farm, has won his second WAMMCO Producer Of The Month title for March, 2014.
The winning line consisted of 109 Prime SAMM-Dorper lambs that were processed at the Katanning abattoirs on March 20 for a per head return of $115.76.
Darrel and his wife Diane, who won their first WAMMCO title in June 2010, encouraged their Dowerin neighbours Scott Flavel and January 2014 Producer Of The Month winner Jarrad Hollins, to expand into prime lamb production.
Mr Hudson said the three producers work together with WAMMCO and their carriers to minimise their transport costs to Katanning and maximise their returns.
"It is easier for three of us to top up a four-decker or a B-train load to Katanning with WAMMCO's Rob Davidson and the co-operative's receival staff assisting us with bookings, particularly during the heavy supply periods," he said.
Since moving from a Merino-Poll Dorset cross to a Prime SAMM-Dorper flock in the mid-2000, Mr Hudson attributes much of his lamb production success to the genetic incentives and producer feedback offered by WAMMCO.
"The real bonus of dealing with WAMMCO came in October with the excellent trading rebate we received," he said.
"It came like a bolt out of the blue after a very tough season and it confirmed that when the co-operative does well, producers can also do well."
The winning line of 109 lambs were sired by Dorper rams and out of F2 Prime SAMM mothers and averaged 23.25kg with individual lambs scoring up to $134.50.
The weights were more than a kilogram shy of the average for the June 2010 Producer Of The Month title of 232 lambs that averaged $125.36.
"We enjoyed a good finish to the season after a tricky opening that caused us to keep ewe numbers tight and the lack of summer rain allowed us to finish the lambs on high value, weed-free stubbles and pastures," Mr Hudson said.
He said they had been able to trim breeding ewe numbers because of the excellent increase in lambing percentages since he began to identify twins in his pregnancy scanning program.
"Our overall lambing percent is above 120 per cent and by identifying Prime SAMM F2 twins earlier, we have been able to boost their lamb survival rate to around 130pc," Mr Hudson said.
"The excellent finish to the season meant that we were actually understocked at the end."
The Hudson family is leasing some of the Dowerin property and Mr Hudson continues to run the Prime SAMM-Dorper prime lamb enterprise on about 40pc of the property with casual help and an extra hand from his father Peter during the busy times.
The family have continued to source both Dorper and Prime SAMM rams from Steve Slater's Margam stud, Gingin.
"Steve is a relatively small stud breeder but he is maintaining good genetic gains, introducing new bloodlines and continues to keep us progressing at a satisfactory rate," Mr Hudson said.