ANFD / SCHUTE BELL MERINO WETHER COMPARISON TRIAL
The aim of the trial is to demonstrate the productivity of Merino sheep flocks under commercial conditions.
Twenty-seven participants entered teams of 10 wethers randomly selected from their flocks to run as one trial mob, with 25 teams shorn at nine months in June and the remaining at the 12 month interval in September.
The trial will run from 2015 to 2018, with nine month and 12 month wether teams measured for fleece weight, fibre diameter, wool value and assessed meat value.
The aim is to give a net value of production for each team, comparing the nine and 12 month shearing results within each team and between each entrant, along with providing a comparison within bloodlines.
At the shearing intervals, individual fleeces are skirted and weighed (greasy fleece weight) and given a type classification, this information is then used to calculate an average price from the previous week’s wool market on a clean wool basis.
3 very different years . Yr 1 record wet year with associated health , wool, and nutritional issues
Yr 2 terrific carry over drying off feed from previous year going to a dry cold tableland winter and late spring flush. A good merino year with the sheep doing very well
Yr 3 dry drought year with a hard winter, the field day site fared better than a lot of areas and got the wethers through in mainly a good average 2 score condition
Wool Cut Summary . 9 month shearing generally ahead with 3 teams in the dual trial cutting more in the 12 month group. These were more traditional length for micron
Overall averages on clean weight basic 12 month 127.7 kg/team
9 month 135.4 kg/team
Gross Margin Summary. 12 month shearing ahead on gross margin basis
Overall Gross Margin 12 month $ 1772.24/team
9 month $ 1759.96/team
Top 7 Team results. 12 month
C Spittle Grogansworth
GM Sharpless Charinga $ 2228
A. O,Keefe Bungoona $ 2177
Jw & AJ Caldwell Yarrawonga $ 2000
GJ Sunderland Darriwell $ 1969
Rockdale Grazing Egelabra $ 1965
WattleGrove P/Shp Langdene $ 1960
GM Sharpless Charinga $ 2308
Wattle Grove Langdene $ 2206
A. O’Keefe Bungoona $ 2121
GJ Sunderland Darriwell $ 2092
PT & KC Walker Woolaroo $ 2038
Grogansworth Past Grogansworth $ 1958
WJ & JA Caldwell Greenland $ 1902
# All these top end teams had the combination of heavy wool cuts for micron, very good style and handle
# Of note is the extent of the range of gross margins over the whole trial group, from top to bottom.
# Bloodlines that have bred overlong fleece wools for the market in the 12 month group have attracted discounts of between 80c and up to250c depending on micron. This has greatly affect ted the GM for those teams in the 12 month group.
# The 9 mth shearing has seen no discount for length as most teams have been in the right length for micron. There were no sub 70 mm wools in this 9 month shearing to attract the shorter wool discounts which are in play in this current market.
# For people shearing at 6/7 mths with wools in the 50/70 mm length you would be looking at discounts of 150/300 c depending on micron
# The Gross Margin on these shorter wools would be significantly less , but we have not been able to measure that IN THIS TRIAL.
Brett Douglas - ANFD Sheep Chairman
Samples of fleeces from each shearing for all teams and the results will be displayed at this years Australian National Field Days from the 25/27 October and staff will be available for consultation regarding the Trial.