WESTERN Australian sheep producers are being urged to share knowledge in an attempt to combat low lamb marking rates.
At last week's DAFWA Agribusiness Sheep Updates, the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and the Sheep Industry Leadership Council (SILC) announced the formation of a 100%+ Club.
Producers that achieve a 100pc lamb marking percentage will be eligible to join the new club, developed as part of the More Sheep initiative launched earlier this year.
DAFWA livestock industries executive director Kevin Chennell said one of the key focuses of More Sheep was to increase WA sheep flock marking rates and he hoped the 100%+ Club would help this.
SILC chair Rob Egerton-Warburton said the new club would enable top producers to share their expertise and learn from each other, as well as recognising them in achieving outstanding flock reproductive performance.
"The idea behind the project is to identify those growers who are doing a good job, that is achieving 100pc plus results year in year out, and look at what the difference is between them and everybody else," he said.
"Hopefully we can do some case studies on them, find out what that difference is and then help other producers receive the same results."
Mr Egerton-Warburton said the major advantage for growers who nominated or were nominated to join the club, was they would be able to meet with other like-minded people achieving the same results, and talk on how they can possibly take things to the next level.
There was some comment at Sheep Updates that establishing the club would exclude the growers who needed the most help but Mr Egerton-Warburton said this would not be the case.
"We're not trying to form an exclusive club, we're trying to use these producers and pick their brains for the rest of industry to benefit," he said.
"It also provides those that aren't getting those results with an incentive."
Mr Egerton-Warburton said most people knew farmers in their area that were getting 100pc.
"Often they're not doing anything extraordinarily different, they're just good at what they do," he said.
With the average Australian lamb marking percentage currently sitting at 77pc, Mr Egerton-Warburton said 100pc seemed like a daunting number, but was certainly achievable.
"There has been a lot of media complaining about the price of sheep, but yield is what makes money from sheep," he said.
"If producers are complaining about the price of sheep at $4.20 and are only achieving a 75pc lambing percentage, there lies the problem.
"The will to achieve 100pc comes down to economics, if your neighbour's getting 100pc and your sitting on 75 I think there is a compelling argument."