Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

THE last El­liottdale stud flock in the world faces the chop if some­one can­not be found to take it on.

Carl and Jann Ter­rey, who have kept the breed go­ing for 25 years, can no longer man­age the work of car­ing for the sheep due to ill health and in­creas­ing age.

“It would be such a shame to see them go to the butch­ers,” Mrs Ter­rey said.

“There is a tremen­dous emo­tional in­volve­ment in this and I get up­set think­ing about them go­ing off to be slaugh­tered.

“We can’t do it any longer though. We’re just hop­ing some­one might come along and carry on Carl’s work.”

Mr Ter­rey be­came in­volved with the breed at the El­liott Re­search Sta­tion at Burnie in the 1980s.

The sta­tion’s El­liottdale Project had de­vel­oped a pur­pose-bred sheep for the car­pet wool in­dus­try, with the breed com­mer­cialised in 1976.

CHINA’S end­less de­mand for Aus­tralian dairy and baby for­mula is be­hind the but­ter price rises – and it will soon force bak­eries to switch from us­ing but­ter to mar­garine to sur­vive.

Sausage rolls and crois­sants will start tast­ing dif­fer­ent as bak­eries deal with a 30 per cent in­crease in the cost of but­ter.

The value of dairy ex­ports to China in 2016-17 was about $403 mil­lion, up from $144m five years prior.

IBISWorld fig­ures also re­veal China is tak­ing 67 per cent of Aus­tralia’s $45m in­fant for­mula ex­port mar­ket, com­pared to 26 per cent five years ago.

IBISWorld se­nior an­a­lyst Sam John­son said there is a link be­tween China’s in­sa­tiable de­mand for in­fant baby for­mula and the price of our but­ter.

“Many dairy pro­ces­sors have di­verted pro­duc­tion to­wards more value-added prod­ucts that at­tract a pre­mium,” he said.

IN POS­I­TIVE news for eczema suf­fer­ers, re­cently pub­lished re­search funded by Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion has demon­strated wear­ing su­perfine merino wool next to the skin is ther­a­peu­tic for those suf­fer­ing from the chronic skin con­di­tion.

Eczema, also known as atopic der­mati­tis, now af­fects 20 to 30 per cent of chil­dren. Suf­fer­ers have dys­func­tional skin that dries out and can lead to cracked skin, bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, red­ness, scratch­ing and itch­ing.

How­ever, der­ma­tol­ogy tri­als have shown adult and in­fant eczema suf­fer­ers have re­duced symp­toms when wear­ing wool. When worn next to skin, su­perfine merino wool works as a dy­namic buf­fer, help­ing main­tain a more sta­ble hu­mid­ity and tem­per­a­ture in the mi­cro-cli­mate be­tween the fab­ric and the skin. It ap­pears wool acts like a sec­ond skin for these peo­ple whose ‘first’ skin is too dry.

LARA farmer Terry Hedt lives in fear of a for­eign takeover.

But it is not a cor­po­rate gi­ant that has him wor­ried.

It’s the fear of see­ing the Chilean nee­dle grass that chokes the road­side in­vade his 600ha sheep prop­erty.

The ex­otic weed is be­ing spread along Vic­to­rian road­sides by slash­ing con­trac­tors, where it then in­vades farms, pro­duc­ing sharp-pointed seeds that pen­e­trate sheep skins, caus­ing the an­i­mals suf­fer­ing and dam­ag­ing hides and car­cass val­ues.

In Au­gust Mr Hedt pleaded with VicRoads to slash the nee­dle grass, be­fore it set seed.

That fell on deaf ears as it flow­ered and set 15,000 to 20,000 seeds a square me­tre.

“It’s all over the place,” Mr Hedt said.

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