August 25, 2006
August 25, 2006 - According to results from the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) 2006 lamb survey, Australia's sheep industry is facing substantial changes in flock distribution.
The survey found that the number of lambs on hand on June 2006 dropped 6 percent compared to the previous year, to 27.3 million. The drop is attributed to a 12-percent decline in Merino lambs and a 1-percent drop in first-cross lambs, while second-cross lamb numbers jumped 16 percent. South Australia was the only state to register an increase in lambs on hand.
Another shift is that almost 37 percent of all lambs expected to be sold between autumn 2006 and autumn 2007 are likely to be fed hay or grain supplements (up from 32 percent last season), while lambs finished in feedlots are estimated to account for 10.3 percent of all lambs sold (up from 9.2 percent last season). This reflects both another poor autumn/winter feed situation and the expansion of specialist lamb fattening operations. Reprinted in part from Meat Livestock Australia