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Beyond the Bale : December 2015
ON FARM 39 Plus Merino had the greatest wool returns whereas Border Leicester x Merino and SAMM had the greatest lamb returns. When wool and meat were combined, the SAMM and Centre Plus were equivalent and the Border Leicester x Merino was close. However, returns per hectare from the Border Leicester x Merino and SAMM would be reduced when accounting for their higher feed intake, due to higher number of lambs reared and heavier ewes. However indications are that dual purpose Merinos with good wool, reproduction and lamb growth are likely to be the most profitable alternative in this Elmore environment. Whole flock systems analyses using models such as GrassGro are needed to fully investigate whole farm profitability. The statistical analyses by University of Adelaide researchers clearly show the trial had sufficient numbers to validly test sheep reproduction, weights and wool production. They are a reliable guide to the reproductive performance of the flocks of origin as the property of origin variance was very small and several trials have indicated the nutrition of the young ewe, from a foetus to weaning, has zero or small long term effects on subsequent reproduction under commercial farm conditions. This project was funded and conducted by the Elmore Field Days Inc together with The Campaspe Prime Lamb Producers Group with professional help from three organisations and six product support sponsors. AWI provided funds for statistical analyses. MORE INFORMATION The full results are on the Elmore Field Days website at www.elmorefielddays. com.au. The 12 page summary report contains the key findings. A 52 page report gives the full details. * The wool and lamb returns per ewe were calculated each year using average prices over the previous 12 months. Lamb returns per ewe were calculated from lambing percentage, lamb live weight, dressing percentage and skin value. Wool returns reflected clean fleece weight and fibre diameter differences. Main results for the five adult years from 2010 to 2014 Yearly returns per ewe from lamb and wool production with the average DSE estimate per ewe-lambs unit; average 5 years as adults* Ewes penned for regular husbandry. Breed Group Border Leicester x Merino Merino, Loddon Valley Centre Plus Merino Dohne SAMM Least significant difference Ewe weight at joining (kg) 79.6 63.6 70.7 70.6 79.7 8.1 Clean fleece weight (kg) 3.9 4.8 4.1 3.5 2.6 0.4 Fibre diameter mean (um) 30.3 20.9 19.0 20.8 24.4 1.3 Foetuses scanned per ewe joined 158% 129% 148% 126% 161% 18% Lambs born per ewe joined 150% 116% 138% 120% 156% 9% Lambs marked per ewe joined 132% 96% 116% 96% 132% 6% Lamb weight in spring (kg) 47.7 44.3 46.1 46.3 48.5 0.5 Wrinkle, neck & body (score 1-5) 1.2 2.5 2.3 1.6 1.1 0.2 Breed Group Border Leicester x Merino Merino, Loddon Valley Centre Plus Merino Dohne SAMM Lamb returns, $/ewe $154.54 $102.32 $130.04 $108.68 $157.08 Wool returns, $/ewe $19.94 $52.96 $49.67 $38.70 $23.17 Total returns, $/ewe $174.48 $155.28 $179.71 $147.39 $180.25 DSE rating per ewe-lambs unit 3.07 2.21 2.62 2.42 3.06 Total returns, $/DSE 57 70 69 61 59
In the Shops - March 2016