Livestock

Womboota stud principal says 2020 spring market could be sweet spot for breeders

By Rodney Woods

The 2020 spring market for ewe lambs may well go down in history as a 'legendary sweet spot' for commercial breeders, according to Womboota Border Leicester stud principal Malcolm Starritt.

Mr Starritt, who will hold an on-farm sale on September 26, said all indicators were leading to a boom in demand that would see savvy ram buyers this season choosing rams that would maximise their chances in the market.

“Ram buyers who just breed prime lambs have a major opportunity to buy Border Leicester rams and cash in on next year’s insatiable demand for their ewe lambs,” he said.

“First cross Border Leicester Merino ewe lambs ready to join in spring could hit the $400 mark.

"In comparison, prime lamb prices may only extend from $170 to $200."

Mr Starritt said decisions made in the the next couple of months would be critical.

“Setting up your operation to meet the market with a branded, proven product that will command excellent prices and help to rebuild Australia’s national flock is all about the choices made in the next couple of months,” Mr Starritt said.

“As a stud breeder we have always been focused on improving measurable commercial benefits for the industry — this is a very exciting point in time for those of us who have been focusing on genetic excellence for many years."

Mr Starritt said if commercial breeders needed a drought recovery good news story, this could be it.

“As sheep breeders, it’s the choices we make now about breeding program structure that puts us into a position to recover from the circumstances we can’t control.”

Mr Starritt said another clear advantage was the huge gap in the Merino wool market for 23-micron-type wools.

“Our first cross comeback style wools can be blended with some Merino wool to produce the type of product the market is hungry for.

“It is important to know that as the Australian Merino wool industry has shifted toward finer microns, a lucrative supply gap has emerged in the market for medium to strong wools."

The Woomboota Border Leicester stud ram sale will be held on Thursday, September 26 from 1pm at Womboota Pastoral Shearing Shed, Perricoota Rd, Womboota.

Inspections will be held from 11am, with 70 rams and six specially selected ewes up for auction.