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Beyond the Bale : December 2016
NEW MERINO CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES PRODUCERS TO BOOST MERINO EWE BASE The Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB) has launched its new Breed More Merino Ewes campaign that highlights Merinos are achieving profitable results for producers compared to other breeds and enterprises across Australia in a range of production systems and rainfall zones. The AASMB in September launched a new campaign highlighting the profitability of Merinos as the ultimate dual purpose breed and encouraging producers to increase Merino breeding ewe numbers in their enterprise mix. The campaign – titled Breed More Merino Ewes – acknowledges the Merino ewe as the backbone of the Australian sheep industry and that there are many industry businesses and organisations which have a common interest in the breed’s continued success. It is the first national industry supported campaign of its type in the Merino industry and targets the whole supply chain, from producers to exporters, to ensure there is a critical mass of the meat and wool supply that is integral to the industry. AASMB chair Georgie Wallace, Tasmania, says the decision to launch the campaign was sparked by the fact that Merinos have a great story to tell in profitability and performance. “There are many producers achieving outstanding financial returns in terms of dollars per dry sheep equivalent per hectare through best practice flock management and business planning,” she said. “We know that Merinos have the capacity to outperform other livestock enterprises and be competitive with returns from grain growing enterprises. Financial analysis is proving their profitability in different rainfall zones right across Australia.” AWI CEO Stuart McCulloch says the organisation was quick to support the AASMB’s campaign because of the need to increase the Merino ewe flock to take advantage of the enormous global fibre and food opportunities in future. “To do this, AWI has made the strategic decision to focus heavily on increasing the reproductive efficiency of the Merino with the aim of lifting the average weaning rate in Merino to Merino joining by three percent in the next three years,” he said. “Also, our recent announcement to extend the Lifetime Ewe Management course to a further 1,500 woolgrowers over the next three years builds on what has been the most successful sheep extension program in the proud history of the Australian sheep industry with participants significantly lifting weaning rates across the board. “Australia was largely put on the world stage on the back of the Merino. It is an animal that has delivered enormous wealth to this country and has been carefully bred for all Australian conditions.” MORE INFORMATION www.merinos.com.au MERINO SUCCESS STORIES Many Merino producers are achieving outstanding financial returns – in terms of dollars per dry sheep equivalent or per hectare – through best practice flock management and business planning. Here’s a snapshot of what producers from across Australia are saying about Merinos. JAMES DERRICK, NEW SOUTH WALES “I’ve done the calculations and Merinos come out on top. I’m switching back for ease of management, it’s much simpler and more efficient to run a single breed enterprise. I feel the Merino lambs will more than fill the requirements previously filled by the crossbred lambs.” See page 41 for a full case study of James. MARTIN RAMSAY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA “Merino profitability on my farm is driven by three key factors – stocking rate, bodyweight and fleeceweight. While these key factors vary year-on-year, I’ve seen a steady improvement in all of them since I’ve been benchmarking.” See page 40 for a full case study of Martin. BRENT FLOOD, VICTORIA “Merinos have the wool cut, the wool quality and they are the backbone of the first-cross ewe industry. For the amount you can run per acre they are a very profitable article. They have a genuine profitability. One semi-load of wool is the equivalent of 40 loads of barley in the current market.” ED RIGGALL, WESTERN AUSTRALIA “From an economic perspective, sheep meat and wool indicators are fantastic. If you’re not enthusiastic about the prospects of sheep meat and wool now, you’ll never be. On a sheep confidence index I would rate it as a 10 out of 10.” ON FARM 39
In the Shops - March 2017