Location: Yerong Creek NSW
Enterprise: Cropping, prime lambs
Producer: James and Greg Male
Soil type: Red clay loam
Pasture type: Improved with predominantly lucerne
- Aim for security. Forward contracts minimise price risk when trading lambs.
- Research before investing. The right infrastructure, technology and handling equipment can improve efficiency and reduce stress.
- Know the costs that count. James now focuses on feed costs per kilogram of liveweight gain rather than feed conversion efficiency.
- Think local. Source lambs that are raised locally to minimise the stress of long-distance travel, time off feed and set-backs from climate/environment changes.
- Value add. A feedlot adds value to mixed enterprises. By channelling down-graded barley through the feedlot, James increased its value from $80 to $240/tonne.
- Be flexible. Adapt turn-off to meet market demands and change feedlot rations depending on grain availability to reduce cost of production.
- Manage performance from the start. Take particular care when inducting lambs onto a grain ration. After visiting US lamb feedlots, James is replacing self-feeders with troughs for better control of intake.
- Know your margins. If grain prices are high, it might be worthwhile to sell grain instead of feeding and turn-off lambs as stores.
- Learn from other’s success. The chicken meat industry has enjoyed significant genetic gains, as it focuses on one product. Instead of a dual wool/ meat focus, lamb producers should breed for genetic gains for their dominant market.
- Develop productive relationships. Your agent and processor can play a key role in your business.
Yerong Creek NSW
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