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Merino sheep continues to be backbone of Australian flock, DAFWA

24
May '07
A national survey of over 1800 Australian sheep producers has been conducted, to provide information to the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Wool Production Forecasting Committee.

Producers were asked about seasonal conditions, flock composition and their intentions for the coming season.

Conducted in February 2007 by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), the survey revealed Merinos made up 88 per cent of the sheep older than 12 months old on the surveyed properties.

Kimbal Curtis, from DAFWA said the results show Merino sheep continue to provide the backbone of the Australian flock in terms of producing wool and prime lambs through both pure breeding and crossbreeding systems.

“I would like to thank all the producers who took part in the survey. This direct input from the growers is vital to the Wool Production Forecasting Committee, as the survey results provide an objective assessment of conditions in all regions and producer intentions, which guide early forecasts for the following season,” said Mr Curtis.

“The producers surveyed collectively produced about 27.3million kilograms of wool from a total of 5million adult sheep and 1.9million lambs shorn during 2005/2006. This represents 5.9 per cent of Australian wool production and 6.5 per cent of the adult sheep and lambs shorn in this period."

“In terms of seasonal conditions in February 2007, 66 per cent of producers reported being in drought."


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