Young lambs emerge

29 Aug, 2010 04:00 AM
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Over the past two months, there have been 24 per cent more new season lambs yarded than the same period in 2009, according to Meat and Livestock Australia data.

MLA reports that in addition to the increased turnoff, the weight and quality of the 2010 new season lambs have been better than what was observed during the same period last year.

With winter rainfall widespread and above average in the eastern states, new season lamb numbers have been plentiful, yet the rain has restricted supplies in recent weeks.

Although WA producers have been experiencing some tough seasonal conditions, new season lamb turnoff from this state has also lifted.

In general, lamb quality and condition is expected to be maintained in spring, with the seasonal outlook the best for many years.

Trade weight (18–22kg dressed) and heavy lambs (over 22kg) have accounted for the majority of young lambs since July.

MLA says producers are opting to finish lambs at heavier weights, and have done this more rapidly than previous years considering the favourable growing conditions.

Young lamb yardings have mainly been trade weights, yet the heavy lamb drafts have more than doubled compared with last year.

The autumn break and mild start to winter facilitated generous pasture growth over winter and led to improved growth rates in lambs.

This can be seen through the number of heavy lambs yarded – around 16pc of new season consignments have being over 22kg, while in 2009 heavy pens only accounted for 9pc of supply.

Meat & Livestock AustraliaSource: http://www.mla.com.au

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