Wairararapa farmers Matt and Lynley Wyeth say partnering with Focus Genetics has improved farm production and profits.
Third generation sheep and beef farmers, Matt and Lynley own Spring Valley Enterprises. When they took over the farm they were committed to lifting the farm’s efficiency and maximising production.
Since moving to Focus Genetics, the Wyeths have significantly increased their maternal ewe efficiency through achieving higher lambing percentages. The farm’s performance is improving and Matt is happy with their recipe for success. They’re getting better weights out the farm gate at weaning time and the couple are quickly gaining industry recognition. As well as being named Supreme winners of the 2014 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards, Matt and Lynley have also won the Beef+Lamb Golden Lamb Award terminal cross category for producing the tastiest lamb.
The high performance farm runs a successful triplet programme, traditionally lambing 1,200 – 1,500 triplets per year from its 7,000 Highlander ewe flock. And weaning weights are strong. At the first weaning draft in mid-December, Matt gets 85% straight off the ewes, averaging a weight of 38kgs at 90 days.
It’s an impressive outcome that hasn’t come without planning. “We send a brief of what type of sheep we want to produce and Focus delivers every time. Ideally, we like an early weaning weight selected from a twin and we try to select quality hoggets that will be sure to get in lamb.”
As the farm’s lambing percentages have risen, so too have the number of triplets. Matt and Lynley are trialling a three-year indoor programme to improve survival rates. Lynley says, “We bring the ewes in around their due dates and lamb them inside. Once they’ve lambed we leave them in a pen for 12 hours with their lambs. This gives the ewe the opportunity to really bond with her three lambs, so she is less likely to drop any.”
Matt says the programme fits with their animal ethics protocols. “We aim to improve the survivability of triplets and minimise our wastage. There’s also a feel good factor to it: we’re counting the live ones, not the dead ones.”
“Focus Genetics offers a value added product that’s a good converter of grass into a saleable product. The more we can produce a quality product, the more efficient we are.”
“Genetics are a key part of the ingredients needed to help us increase production on the farm. We feel we’ve aligned with a company with the same core values as us. We believe in what they’re doing with research and development, which is translating to greater profitability for us.”