Dan waters down his success

The secret to growing premium quality lambs in a drought


Sheep
Dan Mullins, Eddington, with his $213/head heavy lambs sold at Bendigo Monday.

Dan Mullins, Eddington, with his $213/head heavy lambs sold at Bendigo Monday.

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Dan reaps the rewards of growing premium quality heavy lambs

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Eddington young farmer, Dan Mullins was anything but boastful when divulging his secrets to producing premium quality heavy lambs.

The shy 36-year-old says he loves tending to his crossbred ewe flock, and from there is all about feeding their lambs the best way he can to produce what the buyers want.

And that was patently obvious at the Bendigo weekly market, Monday, when a host of buyers waved their arms feverishly over his best pen of 85 that made $213 a head, the second top price on the day.

He said grazing irrigated Lucerne since weaning in November with a late ad-lib supplement of an oat and barley-blend was the feed source that did the job.

"I haven't done the sums on the costs but it would have been plenty if I had to buy the water" Mr Mullins said.

And he remembers that was one thing his late-father said to him before he passed nine years ago was "use water wisely".

This year his permanent allocation drawn from the Loddon Irrigation Scheme has held him in good stead.

Counting some extra good fortune Mr Mullins said he would have preferred to sell his lambs a few weeks earlier than he did. But on good advice from his agents (Elders), he stretched out holding on for a rise in the market and has picked up an extra $30-$40 a head as a consequence.

Mr Mullins said it was most rewarding to sell lambs that had the figure "2" in the front of his sale price. In the spring last year he said his autumn-drop suckers were sold for around the $235/head mark while the second-draft, January-shorn, from his spring-drop, also sold Monday, went close making $192/head.

Conducting a sheep focused enterprise southwest of Bendigo, Mr Mullins also grows some cereal crops that are solely retained for stock feed. He said he was also tinkering with the idea of introducing a straight Merino breeding flock to his farming mix as "wool prices are very appealing". 

The story Dan waters down his success first appeared on Stock & Land.

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