Merino magic in fine focus
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.
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.