Lower bale average reflective of season

Lower bale average reflective of season

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 Glenn Smith (left), Wongamine farm, between Northam and Meckering, inspecting his show floor wool samples with Elders Northam, Moora, Carnamah and Mingenew district wool manager Breanna Hayes.

Glenn Smith (left), Wongamine farm, between Northam and Meckering, inspecting his show floor wool samples with Elders Northam, Moora, Carnamah and Mingenew district wool manager Breanna Hayes.

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"The wool come out nice considering the tough season, there just wasn't quite as much - the fleece wasn't quite as heavy (as usual), but you get that with a tough season."

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A TIGHT season produced mixed results at the Western Wool Centre (WWC) two weeks ago for Glenn Smith, Wongamine farm, between Northam and Meckering.

There was good competition amongst a spread of buyers for 11 lines of Wongamine wool, but five fleece lines and one oddments line were passed in at the WWC live auctions.

"The lines that sold, sold really well and the lines that didn't sell had lower yields, but the bids were within 15-20c (of the Elders broker estimate), so they weren't too far off," Mr Smith said.

His top fleece line sold for 1151 cents per kilogram greasy to Seatech Industrial.

There was good competition for most other lines between Peter Morris Exports, Seatech Industrial, Tianyu Wool, Endeavour Wool Exports and Kathaytex.

An annual shearing over about two weeks from mid to late February produced 147 bales in 17 lines which were offered for sale last Thursday.

"With our Merino flock we mated not quite 5000 ewes this year - we also breed our own rams," Mr Smith said.

"Everything went through the shed bar about 2000 young ewes we'll shear in July after they've been classed.

"The wool come out nice considering the tough season, there just wasn't quite as much - the fleece wasn't quite as heavy (as usual), but you get that with a tough season.

"Quality was good, but the cut wasn't there.

"We can average anywhere from 150 bales to 200 bales a season and this season it was just under 150 bales - it reflects the tougher season.

"It was a tough season for sheep feed wise - a lot of hand feeding, tough lambing."

Mr Smith's clip this year averaged 19.5-20.5 microns, 90-100 millimetres staple length from a full year's growth, 22N/kt strength and 65 per cent yield, with vegetable matter below 2pc despite a dry season without rain to wash seeds and dust out of the wool.

"Everything was a bit finer this year with the tighter season - we've always averaged between 20 and 20.5 (microns) but this year it was just that bit finer," he said.

"(Wool from) one mob was a bit tender, probably (from) lambing last year - for one mob it was a bit of a struggle.

"With our cropping we managed an average season - it's amazing what we got with the rain that we did get.

"For us it fell at the right time, but for that hard finish it wasn't that dissimilar to the season before - the best ever - just instead of a soft finish we had a hard finish, it just got hot and the rains didn't come.

"We put the sheep onto the stubbles - the lambs on lupins stubbles and the ewes on wheat and barley stubbles - but there's not a lot (of nutrition) left in stubbles.

"We've set up some feeders for the ewes.

"But now we've got some rain they're running around on green stuff, but it would be good if we could get more rain and keep the clovers that have germinated going and to carry though.

"If the clovers carry through we'll have a lot of tucker this year and we'll be laughing," Mr Smith said.

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