Thursday, July 9, 2020

Winter Shear

A fortuitous patch of warm weather for late June, too good a chance to miss for early winter shear.
Cover combs leave the sheep with a bit of wool left on so they can withstand any sort of adverse local weather after just a few days, plus we still have over 10 weeks till lambing starts. Due the drought we delayed putting the rams out by 2 weeks.
Got the wool weights back from the broker yesterday, the 2ths did 4.2kg for 11 months since last shear, the MA's did 2.8kg for 6 months.
Lot of dismay about current poor per kg returns for crossbred wool not being enough to cover cost of shearing. 
You can give up and say you're shearing sheep just for reason of their health, but we think we're keeping ahead of the costs by an extended time between shears, 8 monthly (3 times in 2 years, we got a bit out of phase this time due the lock-down), and keeping tabs on the genetics for fleece weight.
Waione sires continue to inhabit the national upper percentile for SIL's wool index. 
Airline and hospitality industry upholstery and carpeting have been the chief users of crossbred wool, but they've taken a hammering in these covid times, delaying any recovery in prices, for who knows how long.
Its a shame a natural, bio-friendly product should so languish.
NZ exports over 40,000 tons of this class of wool annually, we need an end product that captures the consumers imagination in a big enough way, and that is either competitive with synthetic materials, or inhabits an entirely separate market.