BRENDON and Ros Tyrrell have made relatively few changes to their prime lamb enterprise east of Scaddan, since they last won WAMMCO's Producer of the Month award in January, 2013.
"The main change is that we are using more White Suffolk rams over an increasing percentage of third cross Prime SAMM ewes, to produce lambs like those that have just won WAMMCO's September title for us," Mr Tyrrell said.
The Tyrrells' Swandale Investments submitted a line of 260 White Suffolk-Prime SAMM lambs that weighed an average of 22.12 kilograms to return an average of $113.76 per head including skins.
The lambs were processed at Katanning on September 30 and included a good percentage of top-rated carcases, with some worth up to $139.76.
Mr Tyrrell said early June was looking grim but 80 millimetres of rain over five days from June 20 kicked crops and pastures to life.
Good follow-up rains in July and August secured the season with clover-based pasture paddocks easily accommodating the 900 Prime SAMM cross ewes and 300 Merino ewes and their lambs.
The Tyrrell family have maintained their WAMMCO shareholding to match their turnoff and have welcomed the bonus issues delivered by the co-operative over the past few years.
"We are hoping WAMMCO can keep lamb prices around $5 a kilogram and are surprised that more producers are not taking advantage of the solid returns," Mr Tyrrell said.
"Our dipping contractor recently reported a small gain in district numbers, but we are still among very few lamb producers within a 50 kilometre radius of here."
A dispersal sale for Esperance Rural Properties in 2003 assisted Mr Tyrrell and his father Greg to switch their sheep enterprise from Merino to Prime SAMM.
They continued buying Prime SAMM rams from the Quinlivan family's Quintarra Farms stud, Esperance, before moving to the Edwards family's Rockdale stud, Dumbleyung, which was taken over by Simon Kerin, Ashbourne stud, Katanning, three years ago
The Ditchburn family's Golden Hill stud, Dumbleyung, has been the source of White Suffolk rams, servicing 300 third cross Prime SAMM ewes.
The prime lamb flock is self supporting with first and second cross ewe lambs being kept each year.
The family has maintained an enterprise mix of 2600 hectares cropping to 700ha of pasture and counts on stubbles and good seasons to prepare their lambs if possible without supplementary feeding.
Greg Tyrrell also maintains a flock of about 300 Merino ewes and keeps watch on the prime lamb enterprise.
The sale of the Tyrrell family's lambs has been managed for the past four years by Barry Hutcheson, Primaries Esperance representative, and has been directed mostly to WAMMCO, or as was the case last year, to the local processor at Shark Lake, when the lambs were ready and WAMMCO was closed for maintenance.
Since their last Producer of the Month win, the couple's three-year-old son Ethan has been joined by little sister Aleisha, who is nine months.