Janmac sires breed suckers to hit market sweet spot

Janmac sires breed suckers to hit market sweet spot

A large selection of impressive rams by Janmac’s homegrown sires will feature in the stud’s annual spring sale this year, highlighting the depth of the stud’s genetics.

And having recently returned from Sheepvention, one of the largest sheep expos in the country, Janmac Poll Dorset and White Suffolk Stud co-principal Grant Hausler said weight and quality wise their sheep were “right on track”.

“We sell many of our best rams elsewhere for other studs to utilise, but the last few years we’ve been retaining semen in our top end rams as well…that way we still get to see what our rams can do,” Grant said.

“It gives us the confidence to know what we breed works, because a lot of the time they leave the farm and you don’t know – particularly with flock rams you don’t get a lot of specific feedback – so it is nice to see the results and it validates what you do.”

The Janmac annual on-property auction to be held at Goroke will once again offer 220 Poll Dorset and White Suffolk stud and flock rams.

Grant said despite some producer’s concerns over current prices in the livestock industry, they’ve decided to offer the same number of rams as usual, and he’s confident the quality – and the demand – will be there.

“Most people are going to continue doing what they’ve always done…and for us it’s business as usual – keep breeding our type, we know they work and the people that buy them know they work,” he said.

While Janmac aren’t going to change what they do, and many of their clients won’t either, Grant said the current market was a good reminder that early growth and turning off lambs as suckers was still where the money was.

“There is going to be a bigger (price) gap between the more traditional style lamb with shape and weight and the store job,” he added.

“If we can get them off mum off grass your costs are less too, you’ve got no shearing or extra drenching.”

There is also opportunity for terminal sires, such as Janmac Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams, to be used in maternal flocks, now that many producers had built their flock numbers up.

“I’ve had a few conversations around what people are going to do with these maternal type ewes that have bred up in big numbers, and there is a place for a terminal ram in that system,” Grant said.

“A lot of flocks have built up a good ewe base, so now is the time to get a terminal ram in to get some more kilos in the paddock, a Poll Dorset or White Suffolk will do this.”

There’s also opportunity to join and lamb down older Merino ewes to a terminal ram, Grant added, rather than selling ewes off at current lower prices.

“The rams you buy today you should have for three to four years, so what you do now is still coming through your flock for some time – when the rebound comes you will have those lambs in the paddock, this could be your opportunity to step into better rams.”

Last year Janmac had a total clearance of Poll Dorset stud rams to a top of $7000, averaging $3281, while all 133 Poll Dorset flock rams topped at $3000 and averaged $1977.

A further 30 White Suffolk rams averaged $1726 after topping at $2800.

Grant said with close to 1000 stud lambs on the ground this year, he is clearly optimistic of a swing towards terminal sires out of the maternal phase.

“We believe our sheep are a good fit for the commercial producer and we are confident clearance will be quite good at the sale, so we will put up a large line and give people a choice of rams,” he said.

The 19th Janmac annual production sale will kick off at 1pm Victorian time on Wednesday 4 October 2023, with inspections from 11am.  Note this year’s on-property auction will not be interfaced with AuctionsPlus.