$2000 bales make for a happy visit
While the Western Market Indicator found further correction last week, WA woolgrowers were still receiving strong prices as compared to last year.
Values for both Merino fleece and crossbred wool held quite strongly compared to the same time last year and sheep producers who dabble in both wool and meat are enjoying exceptional farm gate returns.
Bridgetown sheep producer Ken Armstrong, his wife Leonie and son Dean, along with regular visits from their daughter Belinda Meehan, run 1200 Merino Tech blood pure Merino breeders at their farming properties, Inverness and Glover, which has been part of the family’s 108-year reign in the Shire.
Their November-shorn Glover’s wool clip received the best prices ever last week when they offered 58 bales, including 42 bales of Merino fleece wool, through Dyson Jones, which swept the floor at over $2000/bale.
The Armstrong’s best-priced line was from six bales of 18micron fleece wool with a length of 100mm and yield of 69 per cent and shorn from 1.5 to 2.5-year-old ewes, selling for 1558c/kg greasy.
“This being our first ever visit to the wool sale, it was a very nice result and we came away with more confidence,” Mr Armstrong said.
“It was very surprising how fast and efficient wool is sold at the auction.”
The Armstrong’s produce mostly first cross lambs using Poll Dorset rams over some 800 Merino ewes while they also run a 400-head self-replacing Merino ewe flock in which Mr Armstrong classes the ewe lambs into the appropriate wool or meat production lines.
“We select for easy care and the good wool types go to work in the replacement flock,” he said.
“Our ram supplier, Ben Webb, knows our requirements and he arranges to have the right rams delivered to our farm as needed.
“Our lambing average remains at 100 per cent as an indication of genetic progress.
“At the moment wool is going very well and our crossbred lambs’ wool also received top money with the best line selling for 831c/kg greasy.”
Mr Armstrong learned the sheep trade from his father Bob and selling crossbred lambs to V & V Walsh goes back a long way at Inverness.
“We aim to sell 21kg dressed weight lambs at six months-of-age and the feedback has been excellent,” he said.
“Bridgetown is ideal for producing sheep; good consistent rainfall into our heavy loam soil country which averages 26 inches annually.
“My grandfather and father would both be proud of what we accomplished with our woolclip this year and particularly that Dean is keen to continue running the farm when it is his time.”
“Belinda also loves coming back to the farm to soak up the rich heritage which goes way back to my grandparents who immigrated from Scotland. In keeping with Scottish tradition, we also run some 60 Angus steers.”
Displaying their best-priced Merino fleece wool were Bridgetown sheep producer and woolgrower Ken Armstrong (right), pictured with his daughter Belinda Meehan, of Roleystone, farming neighbor Bardy McFarlane, and Dyson Jones agent Lyndon Hosking.