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  • Tracey Jensen


With the sheep meat markets on a strong path, Sheepmeat Council CEO Dr Kat Ferme said, “The latest MLA report emphasies the importance of growth in our traditional markets like the US while pursuing opportunities in Asia. In 2014 lamb exports to the US are forecast to grow 8%, to 42,500 tonnes swt – the highest annual total to the US since 2007.”

“Live sheep exports are forecast to reach 2.3 million head in 2014, up 16.6% on the 1.973 million head exported in 2013.

This steady recovery is underlined by the reopening of potentially large markets.

“Great opportunities for the industry are dependent on supply and market access,” Dr Fearme said.

Clients of Karbullah and Boyanga Merino studs owned by Mark and Vicki Murphy and family, are having great successes.

John and Mirella O’Sullivan from Thallon sold 10 month-old ewes in July for $107 to breeders in Yeoval, NSW.

Clients at Mungindi had similar success with 11 mth-old young ewes selling for $100 and travelling to Coonamble having had to lighten the numbers due to the continuing dry.

On the prime lamb front, Yelarbon family Trevor and Linda Rissman have had continued success with wether lambs making an average of $112 with rates of $5 to $5.30 per kg, yielding 44%.

Mark Murphy with the young rams.

O’Sullivans at Thallon sold their wether lambs for an average of $116 which was exceptional considering the limited feed.

In all cases, clients have the added bonus of proceeds from fleece of wool shorn in Autumn prior to marketing.

Using the tools available to select sheep has assisted their businesses, not unlike the use of EBVs in the cattle industry.

Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV) with its increased use in the sheep industry has lifted efficiency in sheep selection and breeding.

Mark and Vicki will be holding their Annual Ram Sale on Monday, September 22, at Karbullah, Goondiwindi.

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