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Beyond the Bale : Aug - Sep 08
Trials expose profit gulf Involving 51 teams of 15 wethers each, the 2006-08 Craig Wilson Livestock Wether Trial showed that profitability can range up to $120 a head over a wether’s lifetime O ne of the largest wether trials ever conducted inAustralia recently concluded, with results showing dramatic differences in profitability between flocks. The Craig Wilson Livestock WetherTrial 2006-08 was run on Bernard and Elizabeth Dwyer’s property ‘Derrymore’, at Alectown, near Parkes in central NSW, and involved 51 teams of 15 wethers each. On a wider scale this represented 300,000 ewes, run on properties acrossNSW and Victoria, from 31 bloodlines. Each team is run under the same conditions for the two years of the trial and data is collected on their wool and meat value each year. It allows Merino producers to benchmark their wethers against some of the best inAustralia. “The trial highlighted the massive variation in how teams of wethers perform in terms of profitability,” Craig Wilson says. “The range of gross income between the top and bottom teams over their lifetime was up to $120 a head.” In each year of the trial all wethers were tested for up to 20 individual traits and the most profitable teams were those with a combination of high fleece values and carcase values. In this trial, funding from AWI allowed for additional measurements to be taken and, as a result, all entrants were individually tested for staple length and strength, eye muscle area and fat depth. “One of the most interesting findings was that the top 20 per cent of all wethers averaged 57N/kt in staple strength and the bottom 20 per cent averaged 21N/kt,” Craig says. The wethers at 57N/kt were also 0.5 micron finer than the wethers at 21N/kt.” The highest-ranked flock in the trial comprised wethers from the northern NSW Merino stud ‘Nerstane’, which recorded a total production per head of $237.07 in the two years. It was followed byNew England’s ‘Yalgoo Merino Stud’, with total production of $232.84/head, and the Phillips family’s ‘Yarrawonga Merino Stud’ came third with $226.65/head. The highest ranked commercial producers were Pat and Marion Drew of Bethungra,NSW, with $222.05/head, who came in fourth (see opposite). ú More information:www.wool.com.au Eryvac vaccine controls arthritis caused by Erysipelas* ® : • Increases weaning percentage • Protects progeny for self-replacement • Protects growth and weight gain of lambs • Greater returns per ewe • Prevents culling, carcass downgrade or condemnation Talk to your Pfi zer Professional Sales Representative Craig Wilson (left), of Craig Wilson Livestock, with Hamish and Jock McLaren of ‘Nerstane Merino Stud’, Woolbrook,NSW, whose team was placed first in the two-year wether trial. *Erysipelas is one of a number of causes of arthritis in sheep. Pfi zer Australia Pty Ltd, 38-42 Wharf Road, West Ryde NSW 2114. Freecall: 1800 335 374. ®Registered trademark of Pfizer Australia. OGILVY HEALTHWORLD PASE0010 cripples profits by crippling your lambs Arthritis
Jun - July 08
Oct - Nov 08