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Beyond the Bale : March 2017
Under the patronage of the World Federation of Merino Breeders (WFMB), World Merino Conferences are held every four years, fulfilling one of the federation's purposes of providing a global network for information exchange relating to all facets of Merino breeding and the use of Merino wool, meat and related products. A pre-conference tour commencing on 7 April 2018 will lead up to the conference on 12 and 13 April where the theme ‘The quality of global Merino production’ will be explored. Pre- and post-conference tours in Chile and Argentina are also planned. Member of the WFMB, the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB), invites readers to join the Australian delegation to Uruguay, with further tour particulars to be announced in the coming months. The delegation will be led by AASMB president, Georgina Wallace of ‘Trefusis’ at Ross in Tasmania, who looks forward to learning more about the Merino industry in Uruguay and seeing first-hand the performance of Australian genetics in that URUGUAY TO HOST 10TH WORLD MERINO CONFERENCE The eyes of the Merino world will be on Uruguay in April 2018 when the Uruguayan Merino Breeders Society (Sociedad Criadores Merino Australiano del Uruguay) hosts the 10th World Merino Conference in Montevideo. country as well as sharing the exchanges of information and experiences with fellow travellers. “Along with many fellow Australian Merino breeders I am very much looking forward to attending the 10th World Merino Conference in Uruguay in 2018,” she said. “This is a fantastic opportunity, not only to see Uruguay, but also to visit major Merino studs, shows and judging. “We also look forward to sharing knowledge and learning from their industry,” Mrs Wallace said. “It is very important for us as a global Merino community to meet and network every four years with many like-minded people to further improve the Merino breed for both wool and meat traits.” With an estimated population of 3.5 million, the independent South American state of Uruguay which covers some 175,215 km2 , is bordered by Argentina and Brazil with a 660 km coastline to the estuary of the River Plate and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital, Montevideo, home to the conference, has a population of 1.5 million. The economy of Uruguay is based on agriculture and farm produce, mainly sheep, cattle and dairy with Uruguay being the second world wool top exporter after China. A country of natural rolling pastures and low hills with a temperate climate, sheep breeding is mostly concentrated in the north of the country and the hills in the eastern parts. Similar to Australia, the Uruguay sheep population has declined since 2000, now sitting around nine million with Corriedale the predominant breed (60 per cent) followed by Merino at 20 per cent. It is estimated that 95 per cent of the Merino industry is based on Australian genetics. The Dohne Merino which was introduced into Uruguay in 2002 from Australia has also had a rapid development. This will be the second World Merino Conference in Uruguay, that country also hosting the highly successful 4th conference in 1994. With more than 300 attendees at the most recent world Merino conferences, the Uruguayan organisers are expecting a similar number with local and neighbouring Merino-breeding countries joined by industry members from throughout the world. The five-day technical tour which will precede the coming conference will include visits to plant and woollen mills and Merino studs, finishing in the north west of Uruguay with exhibitions and a show at Salto. This area is home to a majority of the 60 registered studs that make up membership of the Uruguayan Merino Breeders Society. MORE INFORMATION The AASMB offers the only official delegation to the 10th World Merino Conference and has appointed Carol-Ann Malouf to coordinate the programme. Further details of the itinerary for conference and tours as well as registration information will be available as they come to hand through 2017. Expressions of interest can be directed to Carol-Ann on (02) 6895 2274 or 0427 119 535 or email email@example.com There will be plenty of opportunity to talk with woolgrowers from Uruguay at the conference and during tours. PHOTO: Gabriel Becco ON FARM 43
In the Shops - March 2017