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The Brockman family’s Muradup-bred lambs win WA Meat Marketing Co-operative’s October lamb title

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Holding the Clanmea lambs is producer Dave Brockman, of Muradup, with Elders Kojonup branch manager Cameron Grace and Kojonup shearing contractor Jason Jury, back, with Rod Brockman, of Muradup.
Camera IconHolding the Clanmea lambs is producer Dave Brockman, of Muradup, with Elders Kojonup branch manager Cameron Grace and Kojonup shearing contractor Jason Jury, back, with Rod Brockman, of Muradup. Credit: WAMMCO/WAMMCO

The Brockman family who farm near Muradup were the winners of the WA Meat Marketing Co-operative producer of the month title for October with a line of Merino cross White Suffolk lambs.

The win comes after three consecutive bumper seasons that pushed production levels on their farm ‘Clanmea’ close to capacity.

Their winning consignment of 233 lambs averaged 22.09kg to return $154/head and recorded a high WAMMCO sweet spot of 99.57 per cent.

Most of these lambs were from Clanmea bred Merinos and White Suffolk rams purchased from Lukin Springs Boyup Brook, but the winning draft also included lambs sired by the first White Suffolk rams purchased from Craig Heggaton’s Evergreen studs at Kojonup two years ago.

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David Brockman said they dropped 1700 crossbred lambs from 1500 ewes on June 1 to achieve the farm’s best ever lambing percentage.

“With the long growing season, 85 per cent of them were finished on green grass and averaged 22 kg carcass weight,” he said.

“We run 3400 ewes with a mixture of 55 and 45 per cent of Merino and White Suffolks.

“Conditions like this are rare enough — still actively growing pasture in mid November is unheard of.”

Mr Brockman said the farm had already reached 500mm of it’s annual 530mm rainfall quota.

The Brockmans have been strong early supporters of WAMMCO’s grass-fed beeders’ QA program targeting mainly the Canadian export drive.

Mr Brockman’s father, Rod, won the first producer of the month title for Clanmea for September 2016 with a line of 195 lambs that averaged 21 kg.

Emphasis on pasture productivity at Clanmea has increased over the past four years with the seeding each year of 50ha of new clover and ryegrass significantly boosting returns.

“We are also finding that applications of Flexi-N fertiliser is adding significant extra value to our pastures,” Mr Brockman said.

The ratio of cropping on Clanmea has also shifted steadily in favour of a balance of 60 per cent stock.

A consistent quest over many years to maximise profit from both Merino wool and meat is fundamental to the Clanmea farm business charter.

Mr Brockman said a change to July lambing for the Merino ewes had allowed him to carry a few more ewes.

He said the opportunity to boost profitability via genetics, management and technology was too good for farmers to miss.

“It started with how much better our lamb is tasting and it seems we still have a fair way to go in that area,” Mr Brockman said.

“Higher weights and fertility rates, Omega fats and improved animal health handling and management are under constant review.”

Kojonup-based Elders stock specialist Jamie Hart has assisted the Brockman family with their sheep business for the past 12 years and was able to work with WAMMCO to avoid any serious booking jams during the COVID-19 crisis early in the season.

Also based in Kojonup, shearing contractor Jason Jury has also worked with the Brockmans for the past 15 years.

Clanmea has been owned by the Brockman family since since 1928.

Mr Brockman runs the farm with his wife Roxy and their children Oliver, 15, and Sari, 12, along with David’s father Rod and his wife Kay who reside on the Muradup property.

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