TOP quality South African Meat Merino genetics will be imported to WA at the end of the year.
This is the result of recent a trip to South Africa by noted SAMM breeders Philip and Wendy Russell, Allure Prime SAMM, Broomehill with Wally and Linley Filmer, Sunnyside Prime SAMM, Katanning.
Their visit meant they were able to look at the breed in its country of origin and consequently seek SAMM genetics to enhance the breed, which is improving in leaps and bounds in WA.
"We have very good SAMM sheep here after they were first introduced to WA in 1995-96, but it's been a few years since then," Philip said.
"With the new genetics we can strengthen the breed in Australia by enhancing their attributes in the areas of growth rates, wool type and sound structural quality, for example."
Though it appears Allure Prime SAMMs are doing extremely well with regard to wool quality (as well as the other strengths of the SAMM breed).
In the wool sale at the end of March, five bales of 21 micron F1 lambs' wool topped the Wesfarmers Landmark catalogue in that category at 639c/kg.
The Russells and Filmers also visited Merino properties in South Africa with Philip high in his praise of the outfits there.
"One place could have been east of Katanning or at Dumbleyung," he said.
"There were some very good sheep with extremely sound structure and quite plain-bodied."
They also attended the Bloemfontein National Sheep Show where rams were run together for 12 months, like a wether trial in WA. It was a commercial ram trial and was run separate to the main show, but in conjunction with it.
The rams came straight out of the paddock to the show to be body-weighed, daily growth rates calculated, shorn, wool valued, eye muscle and fat score, wool tested, then put into categories, for example the highest combined meat and wool value, highest meat value and highest wool value.
The SAMMS were immaculately presented for the show and paraded very professionally by black farm workers.
"The sheep in the main show ring were enormous for their age - big-boned and with excellent structure," Philip said.
"It was an interesting exercise," said Philip, who also observed how well SAMMS did in a variety of climes in South Africa.