Planning for future shear common sense

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Reading the signs of the times, Williams wool producer Bob Rose made the decision to stop mulesing three years ago.

“If the retail customers are requesting non-mulesed wool, we should listen, ” Mr Rose said.

“Personally I would rather keep mulesing, but eventually we may all have to stop the practice.”

Mr Rose has concentrated on breeding plain-bodied sheep with less breech wrinkle and now crutches twice a year to reduce any fly strike incidence.

“I view our crutching difficulties as the main disadvantages from our decision to stop mulesing, however, this is somewhat offset by any set-back our lambs would incur if we continued to mules.”

Mr Rose is hoping that a premium price may eventually be realised for non-mulesed wool, but he is not factoring in higher values just yet.

“Currently we are making more money from sheep meat than wool, so our concentration is on carcase and fertility, ” he said.

The Rose family’s Grassvale clip sold well this year to a top of 1013c/greasy for nine bales of 18.3 micron.

Although the buyer, Swan Wool Processors’ Tony Price, said the non-mulesed declaration did not influence the price he paid, he said there were lots of inquiries for non-mulesed wool in quantity.

“Currently it is too difficult to put big orders together because non-mulesed lots are not categorised together when sold at auction each week, ” Mr Price said.

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