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Achieving fat score targets: the costs and benefits


  • Graham, Phillip
  • Hatcher, Sue


The national Lifetime Wool project has quantified the production benefits that accrue to a breeding flock of Merino ewes from actively managing their fat score at critical stages of the reproductive cycle. The GrassGroâ„¢ model was used to simulate the profitability of achieving three fat score targets (i.e. FS2.5, FS3-4% lambing and FS3-10% lambing) for a predominately grazing region (Yass) of NSW and a sheep/cereal region (Parkes). In both regions the FS3-10% flock had the highest gross margin but was also the riskiest option in terms of the variation in gross margin during the simulation period. In all cases the key driver of gross margin was the amount (and therefore cost) of supplement required to meet the fat score targets which highlights the importance of meeting the fat score targets using pasture and matching the breeding cycle to pasture availability. Merino producers can use this information to make informed decisions regarding whether or not to feed in dry years.

Suggested Citation

  • Graham, Phillip & Hatcher, Sue, 2006. "Achieving fat score targets: the costs and benefits," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 3(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:afbmau:122520

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    Cited by:

    1. Heard, Joanna & Malcolm, Bill & Jackson, T. & Tocker, J. & Graham, P. & White, A., 2013. "Whole farm analysis versus activity gross margin analysis: a sheep farm example," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 10.
    2. Jackson, Thomas & Heard, J. & Malcolm, Bill, 2014. "System changes to a lamb farm in south-west Victoria: some pre-experimental modelling," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 11.


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