HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2011
September 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 22 ON-FARM There is no questioning Rob Egerton- Warburton's loyalty and passion for the Merino. His dedication and attention to breeding and feeding has produced a low maintenance, low stress and profitable system. Rob, who farms at Kojonup, WA with his wife Jen and two young daughters Zara and Lucinda, mates 6000 ewes and runs 1000 ewe hoggets on 3000ha. The backbone to Rob's sheep enterprise is the Merino, which he praises for its versatility and robustness. FAST FACTS l Rob Egerton-Warburton who runs a 3000ha wool and cropping enterprise at Kojonup, WA believes Merinos are the best sheep to have in Australia. l Rob uses Australian Sheep Breeding Values to assess and increase genetic gain in his flock. l Pasture management is given the same amount of attention as his cropping enterprise. of your money, such as micron, net lambs weaned and muscling," he says. He is puzzled as to why there hasn't been a faster uptake of the technology when it has so much to offer the Merino industry. "Australia leads the world in sheep genetics but 80 per cent of the industry is not actively using it. The Merino industry needs to embrace ASBVs more. They need to embrace progress," he says. "The prime lamb industry has and that's why they are where they are today. They worked out what the consumer wanted, they marketed the product and the producers used the right genetics to deliver the product." Rob is looking forward to a world where genomics can enhance ASBVs and accelerate genetic gain. His role on the "IF YOU'RE GOING TO GROW WOOL YOU MIGHT AS WELL RUN MERINOS, THEY ARE SUCH A VERSATILE ANIMAL. THE MERINO IS STILL NUMBER ONE" ROB EGERTON-WARBURTON "If you're going to grow wool you might as well run Merinos, they are such a versatile animal. The Merino is still number one. At the end of the day if a Merino ewe doesn't get pregnant, as a dry she still produces a lot of wool and is a very valuable animal. If you have a first cross ewe that doesn't get pregnant it is worth nothing to your enterprise," he says. Rob admits that not all Merinos are bred to withstand tough conditions, but his long term breeding goal has resulted in an animal that is low maintenance and robust. He has always selected strongly for a plain bodied animal which has resulted in an open wool type and eliminated fleece rot and flystrike. Rob says he has seen a large overall genetic progression in his sheep flock, much of which he attributes to the use of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs). "If you look at the profitability of a wool enterprise, all the profit drivers are things you can't see. All you can do when you look ataramisseehowbigitisandthestyleof its wool, which contributes to about three per cent of the price. The things you can't see, or the ASBVs, make you 85 per cent Rob Egerton-Warburton from Kojonup, WA: "The Merino is still number one". Merino still king in Kojonup