Rain & wool the order of Long Wool Day

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Nepowie stud co-principals Blake White and Lisa White, of Noman's Lake.
Camera IconNepowie stud co-principals Blake White and Lisa White, of Noman's Lake. Credit: Countryman

Those attending Narrogin’s Long Wool Day on Friday, August 18 were all keen for a good drenching of rain to turn the dry season around.

The annual event attracted a throng to the Narrogin Ram Pavilion which housed 166 Merino and Poll Merino rams represented by 34 participating studs.

Organised by the Narrogin and Districts Stud Merino Breeders’ Association, the display of rams has been an integral part of pre-season ram sales which will kick off this year with the WA Sheep Expo & Ram Sale on August 20 and 21 at Katanning.

Speaking at the Long Wool Day in Narrogin, The Sheep Collective director Steven Bolt said he was optimistic about the upcoming ram selling season.

Mr Bolt, who displayed his family’s Claypans rams at last week’s event, said he expected demand for Merino sheep would remain strong because of limited supply.

SEE ALL THE PICTURES FROM THE DAY BELOW

“Unfortunately due to dry conditions, WA has lost many sheep numbers and pasture growth in the Wheatbelt is poor and rain was needed within the next eight weeks,” he said.

“Both old and young sheep have left the system and we have lost 15 per cent of the ewe base.”

Elders stud stock agent Kevin Broad said he expected ram buyers to be on the hunt for “dual-purpose rams” this season, because of lower wool prices.

With much of the day’s discussion centring around what had been a relatively dry season, Wagin producer Ian Cumming said he had not received any significant rainfall this year.

“We have had just enough, but very little dam water in reserve,” he said.

“The ewes and lambs are in good nick from heavy hand feeding, but we have no water in the dams.”

Boddington wool grower Mark Roberts, who was inspecting Rangeview rams, said he was having a good growing season.

“We run 3750 ewes, but with the wool market down because of COVID-19, it is interesting times,” he said.

Wickepin-based Lewisdale stud principal Ray Lewis displayed a ram which he had happily named Trump 26 after it was awarded the grand champion Poll Merino ram ribbon at this year’s Wagin Woolorama in March.

He said the ram would be offered with half semen rights at the Lewisdale on-property ram sale on September 5.

Unfortunately due to dry conditions, WA has lost many sheep numbers and pasture growth in the Wheatbelt is poor and rain was needed within the next eight weeks.

Steven Bolt

Making introductions at Narrogin, Elders WA’s new commercial sheep manager Mike Curnick, who began his role at the beginning of last week, said he was being challenged by the season.

“Coming from the live export industry, my role will be to get sheep numbers and producers’ confidence levels up in a tight season,” he said. “I’ll also be mentoring young people within the industry.”

Dyson Jones’ new wool agent recruit Tim Chapman was greeting people in his new role after an extensive career with the former Primaries of WA.

Yealering-based Rutherglen stud principal Bill Dawes brought his granddaughter, Georgia Dawes, to view the rams.

“Without a doubt, she has a natural ability with sheep and has a keen interest,” he said.

Lewisdale stud groomer Alison Hill, Margaret River wool grower Ben Doust and Lewisdale stud co-principal Ray Lewis with Lewisdale Trump 26, a ram earmarked for sale.
Camera IconLewisdale stud groomer Alison Hill, Margaret River wool grower Ben Doust and Lewisdale stud co-principal Ray Lewis with Lewisdale Trump 26, a ram earmarked for sale. Credit: Countryman
Murdoch University student Lauren Rayner.
Camera IconMurdoch University student Lauren Rayner. Credit: Countryman
Paula Blight and Sarah Blight, of Seymour Park stud, at Highbury.
Camera IconPaula Blight and Sarah Blight, of Seymour Park stud, at Highbury. Credit: Countryman
Eastville Park and Quailerup West stud co-principal Grantly Mullan, of Wickepin.
Camera IconEastville Park and Quailerup West stud co-principal Grantly Mullan, of Wickepin. Credit: Countryman
Narrogin wool grower Murray Saunders was wearing a Swoolly jumper.
Camera IconNarrogin wool grower Murray Saunders was wearing a Swoolly jumper. Credit: Countryman
Rangeview co-principal Jeremy King, of Darkan, and Boddington wool grower Mike Roberts.
Camera IconRangeview co-principal Jeremy King, of Darkan, and Boddington wool grower Mike Roberts. Credit: Countryman
AWI stake holder engagement coordinator Ellie Bigwood.
Camera IconAWI stake holder engagement coordinator Ellie Bigwood. Credit: Countryman
James Campbell, of Coromandel stud, at Gairdner.
Camera IconJames Campbell, of Coromandel stud, at Gairdner. Credit: Countryman
Dyson Jones wool agent Tim Chapman.
Camera IconDyson Jones wool agent Tim Chapman. Credit: Countryman

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