A COMBINATION of high wool prices and a buoyant market for prime lambs bodes well for the sheep industry.
For those at the coalface of the sector it is also an ideal time to crunch the figures and determine the profit drivers which really matter.
Craig Wilson of Craig Wilson and Associates, Wagga, oversees the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge. The late Mr Westblade was a successful sheep producer from the Lockhart district in southern NSW.
The challenge has attracted 50 teams of 15 wethers.
This week one of the major components of the challenge – the shearing – was taking place in Wagga.
In addition to providing essential data for the trial the challenge could be considered a platform for educational opportunities.
School students were watching on to see the wethers shorn and learn more about the industry.
And it was also a chance for shearers to improve their skills with the help of trainers involved in the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) shearing program.
“We have a good crowd here and it is a beautiful day with a positive atmosphere,” Mr Wilson said.
He said the vibe was fueled by the fact that wool prices, and meat returns were on a high.
“Over the next two days we will be working out the profitability of the teams,” he said.
Early on Thursday morning the wool was coming off well and Mr Wilson said the average micron was 17.9.
“Obviously there is some variation but I am really pleased,” he said.
The average fleece value was estimated at $85 across the teams and those wethers at the higher end were cutting in excess of $100 worth of wool.