Pay day after tough year

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Bob GarnantCountryman

Wandering sheep producer Barry Edwards, like so many other astute farmers, is riding a wave of prosperity as the dual-purpose Merino scales new heights.

Mr Edwards said he could not remember ever reaching 1440 cents per kilogram greasy after his two-bale line of 16.8 micron hoggets wool sold last week.

His total allotment of 109 bales averaged 18 microns off a yield of 67 per cent.

“After a tough year, the wool was finer, but we have also been working towards decreasing our micron the last 10 years, ” Mr Edwards said.

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“We managed to keep our sheep’s body size during this process.“It is nice to see wool prices higher but if it wasn’t for the buoyant sheep market, we wouldn’t have remained with sheep.”

Mr Edwards runs 3400 ewes of which 1400 were mated to Samms for the first time last year.

“I am impressed with the body size of the lambs and they have been better doers during the tough drier season.”

“We may lose a kilogram of wool from the crossies, but even at current prices we will make up the difference in sheep sales.”

Mr Edwards said the first cross lambs wool sold about 100 cents below his clip’s average price.

Although feed is short, he said it was still worth the extra cost of finishing the lambs on pellets because low trade supplies continued to drive higher sheep prices.

Mr Edwards is confident that low sheep volumes will keep both live sheep sales and wool riding the wave of success.

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