Been there, Dohne that

11 Aug, 2004 10:00 PM

INTEREST in the Dohne breed remains high with South African Dohne authority Cameron McMaster speaking at workshops in four states.

Mr McMaster arrived in Australia two weeks ago and presented the first workshop in Bendigo, Victoria.

It was the third time Mr McMaster had visited Australia for an annual series of educational gatherings.

Last week he was at Summerfield Stud at Katanning for a two-day workshop for stud and commercial breeders, and he also spoke at Moora.

He said although he hadn't seen many sheep so far on this trip, the few he had indicated Australian breeders were making progress.

He said breeders' main objective was to make more rams available to fill "an insatiable demand."

"Breeders are doing all they can and they have not even started to supply rams to station country," Mr Mcmaster said.

He believed the Dohne was well suited to pastoral conditions but at the moment prices were too expensive for station owners. Once values came within reach breeders would experience real demand for rams.

"In Australia there is no question about the Dohnes' lambing percentage. Growth rates are phenomenal, the wool is stylish, and they are well suited to the environment," he said.

Mr McMaster said education of Dohne breeders was a priority in South Africa and the Dohne was the only breed there to make workshop graduation compulsory for stud breeders.

He was pleased to see Australia was also helping stud and commercial sheep producers understand more about the sheep, not only in evaluating physical attributes but also its genetic value and its system of estimated breeding values.

Mr McMaster will be in Esperance for a commercial workshop open to all interested sheep producers, before going to South Australia and NSW.


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