Changes to ensure Merino program stays relevant

Cally DupeCountryman
Wagin Woolarama merino head steward Peter Foley with sponsor Michael Rose at Wagin.
Camera IconWagin Woolarama merino head steward Peter Foley with sponsor Michael Rose at Wagin. Credit: Cally Dupe

A swathe of changes to the Merino program at this year’s Woolorama have been put in place to make sure the competition is industry relevant.

The fine/medium section has been removed from the program, ram lamb classes have been changed to horn and poll, and ewe lamb classes will be combined to include both horn and poll.

Merino head steward Peter Foley said industry trends were “moving towards younger sheep”.

“Due to the numbers dropping in the open section over the last three years, the decision has been made to discontinue the fine/medium wool section of the Merino program,” he said.

“We are in a changing landscape in the Merino industry with greater focus on the younger sheep.

“This will allow for increased numbers in the individual classes of the superfine, fine, medium, and strong wool classes.”

There was more than 220 entries last year and Mr Foley said he hoped it would rise to “300 or more” during the next three years.

“We have entries from all over the State, ad it’s not hard to promote as Merinos are very in at the moment,” he said.

Wool growers are enjoying good prices with superfine wool returning a premium five years of low prices.

The grand champion lamb prize is set to be either a feeder or trailer of the winners choice, donated by Goomaling-based Universal Trailers.

Mr Foley said the age breakup of the past had also been discontinued.

“If in the future there is a want or need by industry for this to be looked it, it can be revisited,” he said.

“It’s an industry-driven event and we want to try and be industry relevant.”

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