A GOOD WAMMCO Select score assisted Jon and Terry Ward of Yaudling, Dumbleyung, to win WAMMCO's Producer of the Month title for October.
Their winning consignment consisted of 261 lambs with an average carcase weight of 22.49 kilograms and a value per kilogram of $4.51, returning $102.89 per head including skin.
Twelve per cent, or 33 lambs in the draft, qualified for WAMMCO Select, attracting a bonus payment of $169.81. In total, 168 lambs in the draft returned more than $100 per head with two of the heaviest lambs clocked at $123.75 each.
Jon said his father's traditional interest in Collinsville Merinos (up to 6000 sheep at one point) laid the foundation for the family's lamb operation.
"About 10 years ago we started crossing Poll Dorsets and Suffolks over our Merinos and we went to Prime SAMMs about five years ago to breed first cross mothers to improve weights and lambing percentages, with most of our Prime SAMM rams coming from next door neighbours Haydn and Mark Edwards of Rockdale," he said.
"The prime lamb unit now consists of about 2000 ewes, including about 600 first cross Prime SAMM-Merinos and 1200-1300 Merino ewes crossed to Prime SAMM rams."
Another 600 Merino ewes are mated to Merino rams for good measure.
The Ward family have concentrated their lamb enterprise on a second 1400 hectare property at Kukerin because of its greater suitability for grazing than Dumbleyung. The property consists of lighter country with a good sub-clover base.