Records smashed at Long Wool Day

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian
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Stud and commercial sheep breeders from around the State gravitated to the Narrogin Long Wool Day last week to inspect a new generation of merinos.

The annual event preludes the ram selling season which kicks off on August 15 at the Rabobank Katanning stud ram sale.

Narrogin event secretary Sarah Blight said strong nominations brought a record 177 merinos from 41 studs.

"The inspection day was a success and it raised $2400 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service," she said.

Boyup Brook woolgrower Dave Mackie said he was looking for stylish wool for his 2500-head merino ewe flock.

Being an election year, Mr Mackie said he was hardened by Australia's political leaders' lack of understanding of the farming issues.

"Our political leaders are not listening to us and this is evident in their decision-making," he said.

McAlinden sheep producer Devan Kirk and woolclasser Bev Charteris of Wilga were considering their sire options in selecting for a new self-replacing merino program to coincide with an existing crossbreeding enterprise.

"We are building numbers and are looking for a merino type that would suit our high rainfall environment," Mr Kirk said.

Kojonup woolgrower Rod Brockman said he was looking at an above-average season.

"My flock of 4000 breeding ewes have had a 93.5 per cent lambing," Mr Brockman said.

He said half the flock was bred to pure merino (87 per cent lambing), and the other was crossed to white Suffolk (104 per cent lambing).

Lyndale Poll Merino stud principal Dennis Simkin, of Binnu, said some areas of the surrounding Geraldton area have been hit hard with lack of rain.

"At Binnu we recorded only 6mm in June, and July was also low until the third week when we received 22mm," he said.

"The sheep population has taken a big hit and producers are managing the best they can."

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