Merino magic in fine fo­cus

Countryman - - WOOL - Bob Gar­nant

With the cur­rent Merino ram sell­ing and show sea­son un­der way, Coun­try­man has come across some ex­cel­lent photo op­por­tu­ni­ties to high­light the in­dus­try in its full glory.

Most wool­grow­ers have been very pos­i­tive with the in­dent of higher sheep and wool prices and are keen to in­vest in new ge­net­ics, lead­ing to a qual­ity step for­ward in their wool clip, with many looking for heavy cut­ting rams to fill the bales.

Breed­ers are also mind­ful of the dual pur­pose qual­i­ties of the Merino, us­ing new technology in­clud­ing Aus­tralian Breed­ing Val­ues to mea­sure both wool and meat traits. With mixed sea­sonal con­di­tions across Aus­tralia, the coun­try’s av­er­age wool cut per head is pre­dicted to ease ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Wool Pro­duc­tion Fore­cast­ing Com­mit­tee’s Au­gust re­port.

“Most likely, this will be al­most en­tirely off­set by a one per cent in­crease in the num­ber of sheep shorn dur­ing the 2017-18 sea­son,” the re­port said.

With many sheep pro­duc­ers keen to lift lamb­ing per­cent­ages lead­ing to more sheep numbers, and pro­grams like the Lifetime Ewe Man­age­ment now avail­able to as­sist, it has be­come a nor­mal di­rec­tion for many to­wards an in­dus­try of in­creased sus­tain­abil­ity.

Photo avail­able at west­ Pic­tures: Bob Gar­nant

The WA State Ag School Sheep Han­dling Chal­lenge in­di­vid­ual win­ners at the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo were Lil­lian Bar­ton (prime lamb), Michael Leusci­atti (shear­ing), Grace Davey (wool­han­dling), and Chloe King (Merino). Creaters of the Merino sign, which was dis­played at the Lewis­dale ram sale, were Michelle Ben­ning­ton, Ali­son Hill and Glenn In­garfield. Eco Fash­ion mod­els Emily Craig and Erica Anne graced the Aus­tralian Merino Sire Eval­u­a­tion As­so­ci­a­tion's Su­pe­rior Sires progam with their pres­ence at Dow­erin, dressed in eco freindly woollen gar­ments.

Dion Let­ter and his son Finn were in­spect­ing the Wille­menup Poll Merino rams, known for grow­ing long soft white wool.

Munglinup wool­grower Tim Com­pagnoni, who se­cured 10 rams at the Derella ram sale, was im­pressed with the fleeces on dis­play.

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