March 2024

Allen and Joy inspected both age groups at the Balmoral Sire Evaluation site in the Western Districts of Victoria. The display of hoggets included progeny of Glen Holme 206139, and as expected, they were very good for growth, fat and muscle. They were to be shorn the next week, with the fleece weights the last data to be collected.

From that region we drove up to the New England region in NSW and stayed in Armidale for a while. This gave us a chance to have relaxed conversations during farm visits to see the local sheep. The rainfall in this area is mostly in a summer pattern, with 900 mm annually being common, leading to high worm burdens in young sheep. Altitudes of between 1,000 and 1,300 metres above sea level are common with sheep and cattle being the main agricultural industries.

The New England Sire Evaluation open day was very well run and we got to see some more progeny of 206139 under different environmental pressures. They had grown very well and had been resilient in the face of internal parasites. Like the Hamilton region in Victoria, the Glen Holme group were amongst the quickest growers with good muscle and fat scores.

From these two sites, we have identified that 206139 is one of those “Curve benders” that we all need to seek. With PWT Flock Breeding Values of +6.3 at both sites, yet lower Yearling weights, the proof is evident of quick growth and maturity that doesn’t lead on to heavy adult weights. We like to consider our shearers! Interestingly, 206139 is a son of 172565 who had the best Eating Quality data from the Coonong trial.

There is a modest trade-off in fleece weights, but the 206139 group were up to 9 kg heavier at hogget stage than some others.

Allen and Joy also were present with a display at the South East Field Days in Lucindale. They enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with existing and potential clients.

We have continued collecting measurements on wool and fleeces on our Hoggets and Yearlings. We take observations on fleece characteristics as well as utilising OFDA technology for fibre measurements. We also ran many of our ewes through preg-scanning with very pleasing results.