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Countryman

Pittard line impresses, ends Samm dominance

Countryman
Camera IconPittard line impresses, ends Samm dominance Credit: Countryman

Bremer Bay lamb producers Wayne and Tara Pittard have broken through a Samm stranglehold on WAMMCO's Producer of the Month contest.

They have won the October 2012 title with a line of 101 Texel and White Suffolk lambs from Merino/Border Leicester ewes.

Processed at WAMMCO Katanning on October 9, the consignment averaged 23.55 kg and was valued at $3.68 per kg to return $86.29 per head including skin.

It was the first non-Samm win since Kojonup breeder Tim Stevenson won in December last year with a line of Poll Dorset and White Suffolk lambs.

"They were a great line of lambs and it was disappointing that the price was down from previous levels and that there is no longer a WAMMCO Select bonus, but the return was still a good one under the circumstances," Mr Pittard said.

The Pittard family moved from their Merino/cropping operations at Kulin to a smaller property at Bremer Bay in 2002 when they changed to an exclusive prime lamb enterprise.

The Pittards always purchase the top rams at the Moora British Breeds Sale sourcing Border Leicesters from Robert and Alex Keamy's Anro stud at Moora, and Texel genetics from Robert and Maria Woods of Te Raku stud at Bindi Bindi.

The breeding base also included White Suffolks, sourced from Julie and Malcolm Klante of Westwood Stud, which has since been sold.

"We are now keeping the best of the half Texel and half White Suffolk ewes and mating them to Texels and White Suffolks," Mr Pittard said.

"The second cross lambs are now on the ground and we are quite excited by their potential."

"We have also enjoyed lambing percentages of up to 136 percent and have not seen a result below 100 percent since we started with crossbreds at Bremer."

The Pittards are currently involved in concrete supply and contracting and real estate businesses in the area and have reduced the size of their original property to about 1200 acres. They have been eradicating a barley grass problem and switching to clover/ryegrass pastures and to kikuyu in the lighter sandy country.

They hope to devote more of their time on the lamb enterprise over the next few years.

Their immediate challenge along with their local Landmark agent Neil Foreman is to get lambs sold at a reasonable price and booked in for processing.

"Recent lamb drops are some of the best we have seen, but arranging accommodation for them, with WAMMCO booked out until February 2013, has proved difficult," Mr Pittard said.

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