Sound structured sheep secret to Detpa Grove success

Sound structured sheep secret to Detpa Grove success

A balanced approach to breeding has bode well for Depta Grove White Suffolks over the years, and their 35th annual sale is sure to be no different.

Principal David Pipkorn has been breeding sheep for more than four decades and says sound structured animals have underpinned all he has achieved.

“You can move in all different directions and change various genetic traits, but if it’s an animal that is correct it will stand the test of time,” he said.

“What we mean by a balanced approach to breeding, is we don’t chase single traits too heavily at the cost of other breeding standards.”

The upcoming sale, to be held on-property on Thursday 12 October 2023, will offer the quality line up of stud ewes, stud and flock rams that Depta Grove clients have come to expect, featuring the very latest genetics available.

David said two sire lines that will be dominant in both the ram and ewe catalogues will be Depta Grove Regal 200477 and Depta Grove Noble 180374.

“Noble is a proven sire with sons selling to $22,000, and we’ve fine-tuned how we breed with him so there are some stunning rams coming through from him,” David said.

“Regal we had used as a ram lamb and had a small number of progeny available last year topping at $10,000.  This year he is very well represented in the sale catalogue as we’ve used him quite heavily.”

“Regal also went into the central research flock to be compared against all breeds and was used as a link sire in the White Suffolk trial this year.

Depta Grove releases semen interests in their retained sires to one stud per state, and those were taken up promptly in 2021 when Regal was retained.

The stud will open the sale with 70 stud ewes representing a cross section of Detpa Grove genetics. David said it was a terrific opportunity for a new stud to obtain a fantastic base or for existing producers to hone in on specific lots.

About 30 stud rams will follow before the main draft of 150 flock rams will be offered.

David said he had been focusing on getting a balance of eating qualities in the flock recently.

“Whilst it is not being paid to the producer yet, we have a responsibility to industry to make sure our product is right,” he said.

“Amongst the team this year we introduced a new sire from Yanco stud, 200156, and it was extreme in the eating quality value, so we targeted him over the ewes that needed a lift, meaning generally the whole draft across the board is slightly better in this regard.”

“Simultaneously we’ve been increasing muscling and growth rates and maintaining moderate fat levels.”

He added that the other brought in ram from last year’s drop was Woolumbool 207853 – a very high-performance ram across growth rates and early maturity, with several of his daughters and sons coming through this sale.

“One thing to note is in the 2022 drop we had our biggest lambing for a long time and rather than offer more rams to industry we’ve culled harder, so making sure we only offer top rams at the auction,” David added.

“Similarly with the ewe draft, whilst we culled heavily, we also sent a line of commercial ewes off as well, so there has been heavy classing pressure on the ewe sale draft again, more so than ever.”

The 35th Depta Grove sale will be held on-property at Jeparit, Victoria and via AuctionsPlus, with ewes beginning the sale at 11.30am and rams following at 1pm.

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