Review from the stud manager Ian Cameron

Posted on September 10, 2020
Read Ian Cameron’s opinions on the industry and projections for the future.

We have catalogued 80 rams from a range of new and existing sires, with high fleece weight, growth and structural soundness, all of which should be highly profitable for a commercial flock. All rams have received a 15K Genomic Test as well as having a large amount of raw data collected for profit driving traits.

With the first half of the year bringing the best Autumn break seen in the district for many years, and wide spread rain across the Eastern States, the season has shaped up to be a memorable one. This has been capped off with a well-timed rainfall event in early August, topping up the moisture profile to give a great start to spring. Having spoken to many people about their innovative feeding systems used to maintain breeding ewes, I am sure many are capitalising on these ideal growing conditions to regenerate depleted pasture and fodder reserves and provide the country with some much needed respite. All should be commended for their commitment to breeding top quality sheep in tough environmental conditions. While these positives are hard to enjoy with the current outlook for COVID-19, they have left the regions in a much better position than 12 months ago.

Looking forward, the MLA Sheep Industry Projections show positives. As restocker demand outbids processors for the limited supply pool, prices are expected to remain constant while mature sheep slaughter rates are forecast to decline by 30% in 2020. The Sheep Projections report highlights that the impact of COVID-19 on Australian Sheepmeat demand has been sheltered when compared to other sectors, given the central role lamb and mutton play in a broad mix of cultures and cuisines. This allows the
assumption to be that sheep and lamb prices will remain strong with fewer lambs available for slaughter, strong demand for breeding stock, a low A$ and limited competition from New Zealand.

The dual purpose ability of our Merinos is again shown to be important as wool continues to be hit hard. We are still very optimistic about the future of the fibre and believe it to have a strong position in the textile industry. This is in part due to the great work of the AWI to position the wool as the clean, green alternative as it opens up new demand.

– Ian Cameron