Wool grower focused on future

Bob GarnantCountryman
Don Boyle sits comfortably knowing the bales would be filled during times of lower wool values and near empty dam water levels.
Camera IconDon Boyle sits comfortably knowing the bales would be filled during times of lower wool values and near empty dam water levels. Credit: Bob Garnant

Always optimistic, woolgrower Don Boyle is getting on with the job despite falling wool prices and the dry summer season ahead.

In the midst of shearing at his family’s Broomehill farm, Rina Dina, Mr Boyle was confident about the wool industry’s future.

“Today’s sheep and wool values are correcting all those critics of the past who said there would be no money to be made,” he said.

“I bought my first farm from my early shearing earnings and through the years we have accumulated five farms at various locations including Broomehill, Tambellup and Frankland.”

Mr Boyle and wife Janine along with their sons Brendon and Damien, and their wives Zita and Kristy respectively, have all made full-time commitments to the family farm and a succession plan is securely in place.

“Both my sons are confident shearers with Brendon breaking the world shearing record of 973 Merino ewes in 24 hours back in 2007, which still stands,” he said.

“Damien has been a consistent open champion for many years as a WA Competitive Shearing Association circuit competitor and will be representing Australia at the Golden Shears in New Zealand next year.”

My Boyle said Brendon’s contracting team, Boyle Shearing Contractors, based at Broomehill, was instrumental in shearing all of Boyle & Sons requirements, which is mainly a Merino sheep enterprise.

“My thoughts are now more so enjoying the notion of retirement with the boys fully entrenched in the family farm,” he said.

“The business of running Merinos successfully has revolved around heavy cutting and well-nourished wool types.”

The Boyles have concentrated on breeding their own rams from a 500-head ewe flock using an infusion of West Ray Merino rams.

“In total, 10,000 ewes will be mated next February to continue producing 700 bales of 21.5 average micron shorn wool annually,” Mr Boyle said.

“Feed wise, we aren’t doing too badly, but I have never seen dam water levels so low, which seems widespread throughout WA’s lakes district.”

Mr Boyle said the focus was on building dams, drilling new bores and off-loading 2000 wether lambs, plus 1200 surplus ewes and 2000 older ewes.

“No doubt, we will have to off-load further sheep numbers if the new bore works don’t find enough water,” he said.

“We have begun carting water with hopes for a good summer rainstorm to fill the dams.”

The Boyles, who do their main shearing from May to June, taking an average 7.5 to 8kg/head of wool off the adult ewes, were advised by a wool agent to expect wool values of between 1600 and 1800¢/kg clean next year.

“We are prepared to work with reduced values and are not planning to hold any wool back,” Mr Boyle said.

“Filling the bales has always made us money.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails