Open Day
Friday 30 November 2018

On Farm Auction
Friday 21 December 2018

AbacusBio Report

$60,000 more per year from 3000 ewes – how?

We recently contracted independent consultancy firm AbacusBio Ltd to analyse our genetic trends for both our Meatmaker terminal sires and our Wharetoa maternal sheep. We asked AbacusBio to figure out how much value could commercial farmers gain by fully utilising our rams.

Instead of comparing to the industry average we made things a bit harder for us and them – we wanted to see how much extra we could generate for a farmer with an existing flock of 3000 ewes, mated to maternal rams, achieving 140% lambing and 18kg lambs from 70kg ewes. In other words, a farmer who is already doing things pretty well.

Just using the Meatmaker rams, but using them over 40% of the flock, produced a gross margin of up to $27,000 pa. The gain was achieved without changing average carcass weight and came through a combination of a significant increase in early sales of lambs at weaning (we sell over 50% of our commercial works lambs at weaning), and bringing the average kill date forward by 5 weeks. The feed saved through the earlier kill was also used to generate additional income.

When the farm used both the Meatmaker terminals over 40% of the flock, plus our Wharetoa maternal sheep as the base ewe flock then the potential gross margin increased up to $66,000 pa. (35% increase in EBIT) There are a lot of components to this increase but the key ones are high weights and sales at weaning, high lamb growth rates, increased lambing %, and, in the highest value analysis, used recent changes in lamb payments to take average carcass weights up to 22kg from the terminal lambs without any discount for heavy weight.

All the parameters AbacusBio used in their analysis can be seen and verified by our commercial flock.

This analysis highlights that there are still opportunities for sheep farmers to greatly improve the profitability of their business from within their existing sheep enterprise and therefore without the capital investment or other systematic changes required by shifting to other enterprises.

Download a full copy of the report…