Grain-finished lambs yield higher returns – ABARES

28 July 2015

According to the ABARES Financial performance of slaughter lamb producing farms (2012-13 to 2014-15) report, 6% of slaughter lamb producing farms finished a contingent of lambs with grain in the three year period ending 2013-14.

The majority of these farms reside in the eastern states (37% in NSW, 13% in Victoria, 24% in SA and 3% in Queensland), however the proportion of farms finishing lambs on grain is higher in WA (8%), compared to 4% in the east.

Most farms using grain finishing reportedly grow grain and run a smaller scale operation than non-grain finishing farms. Furthermore, ABARES report that farms that grain finished lambs received a better return for lambs sold and made a higher farm cash income per hectare operated.

The report also considered farms that grain finished lambs for varying periods of time – less than 40 days; 40 to 60 days; and more than 60 days. Interestingly, the results suggest no significant difference in the average price for lambs sold for slaughter for lambs grain finished for less than 40 days, or for 40 to 60 days. ABARES suggest that those producers feeding lambs for less than 60 days were more likely to be using grain to push lambs to a saleable weight, rather than for the purpose of putting on extra finish and weight.

To read the full ABARES report, click HERE.

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