Eastern Riverina flocks record high lambing percentages at scanning

RESULTS flowing out of the sheep and wool industry in southern NSW are indicating some of the highest pregnancy scanning rates in years.

And the data certainly isn't isolated.

High scanning rates are being seen throughout the Riverina and southern NSW and those in the industry are attributing the success to excellent management and a return to better seasons.

Tim and Bek Lubke of "Strathview", at Henty in the eastern Riverina had one mob of composite maternal ewes, aged two to four years, return an in-lamb percentage of 210.

Mr Lubke said genetic selection certainly played a role, but he attributed the success to feeding and nutrition too.

While the lambs were actually conceived during the dry times, and the season has since turned for the better, he explained that the females were fed a ration of 300 grams of lupins per head commencing two weeks before joining.

The Lubkes have also been conditioning scoring ewes. If the ewes are a score of 3.5 or higher it is often the case that a lot of triplets are born.

In addition to the high percentages of "in-lamb" ewes there has been emphasis on making sure these figures correlate at lamb marking as an indication of good survival rates.

"With our triplet ewes we are seeing 208 per cent survival rate," Mr Lubke said.


For Brendan Roberson of Roberson Livestock Contracting it is certainly an exciting time to be in the industry.

He took time out from scanning ewes at Boree Creek to talk about some of the results flowing from pregnancy scanning.

"There has been a lot of twins and triplets this season," he said.

Mr Roberson said education in the sheep and wool industry had evolved over the past 15 years and he believed the adoption of research and development on farm was significant in terms of the current high scanning figures.

"Genetics certainly have a role to play as well ... lots of producers are constantly improving genetics and looking at fertility," he said.

While seasonal conditions look good now he said many of the ewes achieving the good scanning results had actually conceived when times were tougher.

This meant the producers had done an excellent job in feeding and preparing females for joining.

"I really hope we see some good results at (lamb) marking," he said.


Andrew and Jodie Green of Aloeburn Poll Merinos at Boree Creek are also seeing fantastic scanning data in their flock.

"We have had some great results already," Mrs Green said.

With two lambings a year, both spring and autumn, there were already good indications within the Boree Creek operation about what was set to come at marking.

"We scanned ewes at another property and they were Merino ewes that were joined to a Poll Dorset ram, they conceived 166 per cent of fetuses with 6.4 per cent drys in the mob and we marked 146 per cent," Mrs Green said.

"We are thrilled with that result ... the season is tremendous and those ewes had great conception rates," she said.

Mrs Green said the percentage of lambs marked was also vitally important because it indicated survival rates.

She said currently the ewes were quite fat and it was the best season in the region for around five years.