Lull in Damara demand

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Walkaway Damara producers Michael Trant and Gemma Cripps are concerned about a lack of demand for Damaras.

Mr Trant said the family had not sold any Damaras since January this year, when 800 were sold off the station to live export.

"Since then we haven't had any more orders for Damaras," he said. "We are lucky we got rid of that last lot. We are not sure what's going on with demand."

Mr Trant said the family were preparing to ship 1000 Damaras this month, but he was unsure whether exporters would commit to the shipment. "We could possibly get another delivery in May," he said.

He said for most of last year, exporters took Damaras on about two shipments each month.

"Last year every ship as far as I know had a Damara order on it," he said. "We only sold about 1500 rams on the boats because it was so wet, but there was demand for more."

He said the lack of demand was not putting a major dent in his finances at present, but would if it continued.

Mr Trant said his family was committed to staying in Damaras, and if the lack of demand continued, they might diversify their flock to one more suited to the domestic market.

"Damaras work well on the station country," he said. "Even if they do stop taking them, we could develop a composite breed. We are already diversifying into composite breeds using the Damara as a clean-skin base."

The main markets for their Damaras are Jordan and Turkey.

Fast facts *

_WHO: _Michael Trant and Gemma Cripps and Michael and Helen Cripps

_WHAT: _1000 each of Damara and Damara-Dorper crosses and 8000 Damara flock ewes

_WHERE: _Alcheringa Damara stud, Walkaway, and Gabyon station, Murchison

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