Wool win a ‘priv­i­lege’ for grow­ers

Albany Extra - - News - Bob Gar­nant

Den­mark su­perfine wool­grow­ers Bryce and So­nia Ed­wards were named the in­au­gu­ral win­ners of the WA Pre­mium Lot (wool) of the Week com­pe­ti­tion.

Mak­ing a spe­cial ap­pear­ance at the Rabobank WA Sheep Expo & Sale event in Katan­ning last week, where a sam­ple of their wool was dis­played, the Ed­wards fam­ily were over the moon with the an­nounce­ment.

“We were gob­s­macked to take out the pres­ti­gious win,” Mr Ed­wards said. “It was a priv­i­lege.”

Com­pe­ti­tion co-or­di­na­tor Jeremy King said the Ed­wards’ Windy Graz­ing Novem­ber-shorn wool­clip lot, from sale F35, was the over­all win­ning lot from 35 en­tries through­out the 2017-18 sea­son.

“It was the finest of all the weekly win­ning lots through­out the year, all judged by PJ Mor­ris Wools’ buyer Dar­ren Calder and Tech­wool Trad­ing buyer Rus­sell Fraser, who vol­un­teered their time,” he said.

The Ed­wards’ AWTA test re­sults for their four bales of 15.7 mi­cron wool for sale F35 recorded a 16.9 co­ef­fi­cient of vari­a­tion of di­am­e­ter, a veg­etable mat­ter of 0.4 per cent and a 99.8 per cent com­fort fac­tor.

The Ed­wards run 1000 Misty Hills blood su­perfine Merino ewes on their 180ha prop­erty and are aim­ing to double the flock with fur­ther in­vest­ment in leased land.

“Af­ter be­com­ing wool­grow­ers seven years ago and buy­ing our

prop­erty in 2013, we now have the con­fi­dence to re­duce our vine­yard man­age­ment work and run more sheep,” Mr Ed­wards said.

“It won’t be with­out chal­lenges but the last three years we have pro­duced a more con­sis­tent and even line of wool.”

Mr Ed­wards said his wife was also en­joy­ing the wool busi­ness, say­ing she had be­come good at

se­lect­ing rams with the goal of go­ing finer.

“We were blown away with our last wool check, sell­ing to a top of 3221¢/kg clean,” he said.

Misty Hills stud co-prin­ci­pal Heather Meaton said the Ed­wards fam­ily were en­thu­si­as­tic su­perfine wool­grow­ers and had the right at­ti­tude to run a prof­itable flock.

“We were pleased that three of

our ram-buy­ing clients had wool sam­ples on dis­play at the expo,” she said. Ad­dress­ing the expo crowd, Mr Calder said wool had pushed to the front with ex­cel­lent farm gate re­turns.

“Dur­ing the year, we judged the lots not by just the in­di­vid­ual fleeces, but look­ing at the en­tire clip and how it was pre­pared and classed into sep­a­rate lots,” he said.

“The weekly win­ners rep­re­sented a wide range of mi­cron, yields, and sta­ple lengths.”

Mr Calder said they could have cho­sen win­ners from any one of 10 lots per sale, so good was the sea­son.

Mr King said the wool dis­play sam­ples would be sold, with pro­ceeds go­ing to the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice.

Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant

Den­mark wool­grow­ers Bryce and So­nia Ed­wards and their chil­dren Lu­cia and Ethan cel­e­brate their win in the in­au­gu­ral WA Pre­mium Lot of the Week com­pe­ti­tion with El­ders WA wool man­ager Danny Bur­kett,back left, judge Dar­ren Calder, and com­pe­ti­tion co-or­di­na­tor Jeremy King.

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