Naturaliste takes honours

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Dyson Jones agent Paul Blight and Cape Naturalist farm manager Paul Colledge, with the Naturaliste clip sample.
Camera IconDyson Jones agent Paul Blight and Cape Naturalist farm manager Paul Colledge, with the Naturaliste clip sample. Credit: Bob Garnant

Naturaliste Grazing fine wool sold to a top of 2000¢/kg through Dyson Jones during the Western Wool Market’s designated superfine sale this month.

The one-bale line of November-shorn 15 micron wool had a yield of 76 per cent, staple length of 88mm, and a staple strength of 36 newtons per kilotex, and was sold to Techwool Trading.

Naturaliste Grazing farm manager Paul Colledge, who has worked for the d’Espeissis family for 20 years, said he was pleased to receive “the best price since his time”.

“The current owner, John d’Espeissis, recalled that his father ran Corriedales on the Cape Naturaliste property in the mid-1950s before changing to Saxon sheep and then finally changing to Misty Hills bloodlines beginning in 2005,” he said.

“Presently we mate Misty Hills rams to 200 Merino ewes while another 190 ewes are part of the cross breeding program, and we run another 400 three to four-year-old wethers.”

Mr Colledge said fine-wool sheep were a good fit to the farm’s high rainfall average of 850mm.

“We have minimum fly-strike while having good lambing percentage of up to 95 per cent, which requires a good fox baiting program,” he said.

“The farm’s books show that the fine-wool returns have been variable, so we are hoping that current buyer’s interest remains strong.”

The sale of Naturaliste Grazing’s wool clip marks the end of an era for Russell and Heather Meaton’s Misty Hills stud.

The Meatons, who will walk off their farm in March, have finalised the sale of their Kojonup property and sold off a nucleus of their stud’s sheep to Tambellup producer Andrew Bradshaw, who is keen to keep the bloodline going.

Mrs Meaton said Misty Hills was established in 1990, followed by the Rosevale Poll Merino stud registry in 2000.

“We have enjoyed producing quality fine wool which has been recognised by our peers, particularly Eastern States breeders,” she said. The Meatons have won numerous supreme fleece awards at various WA shows and were always in the spotlight with their bright, white and lustrous superfine wool.

“We have kept some older ewes and are hoping to run a small ultra fine commercial enterprise upon finding a suitable property,” Mrs Meaton said.

“We also look forward to showing our fleeces at this year’s Wagin Woolorama.”

Mrs Meaton said trying to run a stud and produce the finest wool possible came with some frustrations as a result of what had been a volatile wool market.

“All too often we were not rewarded for our efforts,” she said.

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