Record mutton price a surprise for Wests

Record mutton price a surprise for Wests

Sales
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Setting the State record price for mutton came as a surprise for a Dumbleyung farming family

NEWLY-minted $243 State record mutton vendor Karl West, Dumbleyung, said it was some good news when the call came from Graeme "Spock" Taylor, Elders Lake Grace/Dumbleyung, in what has been a challenging start to the season with only about 35mm of rain falling on the property this year.

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Dumbleyung farmer Karl West (left) and his son Joel with farm worker Byron Blevin.

Dumbleyung farmer Karl West (left) and his son Joel with farm worker Byron Blevin.

"I didn't believe Spock at first, I thought he had doubled the price," Mr West said.

"You have to take the good with the bad sometimes but it's nice to get some reward, pity it wasn't a pen of 300."

Mr West, who farms with wife Marnie and children Carissa and Joel and his parents Peter and Bernadette, joins 2000 Merino ewes annually, with 1350 ewes mated to East Mundalla Merino rams and 650 to Golden Hill White Suffolk rams to lamb six weeks earlier than the Merinos from April 1.

He said while they had pulled up seeding for five days last week, they tailed the crossbred lambs and wet and dried the ewes and decided to send the 30 dry older yellow tags (2013-born) to Katanning.

"We didn't really have anywhere to put them and all they had been doing was living off a feeder," Mr West said.

"They were in very good nick and I reckon they would have had to weigh between 70 and 80 kilograms.

"They had come through the summer on some very good stubbles and were on lick feeders with an oat and lupin ration when they started lambing on April 1.

"It was the luck of the draw, there was nothing different I wouldn't do any other year but we will take it."

Mr West said the record saleyard mutton price more than doubled his price expectations.

"Previous years for the same sort of ewes at this time of year we have been getting between $80 and $100, and being older ewes I wasn't expecting them to make more than $100, maybe $110 and $120 for the tops," he said.

"What we got was unbelievable."

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