Welcome to Borambil Merino's September 2023 newsletter.
As we countdown to our 27th Annual On-Property sale and we look toward the many positives for the sector, lets first address what is obvious.
After several years of favourable seasonal conditions and very high livestock prices, 2023 is providing a reality check. The wool market has retreated and livestock prices, particularly for secondary grade animals, have collapsed. And whilst seasonal conditions around Collendina remain favourable, many in northern NSW have been hand feeding stock for months, with little reprieve on the horizon.
Despite the immediate headwinds, we know in farming that ups and downs are normal.
Here at Borambil Merinos, we are facing these challenges head on and we are optimistic about the future.
Within our diversified farming business model, we find merinos continue to complement our cropping activities effectively, providing grazing of dual-purpose crops and stubbles, as well as allowing a legume-pasture phase within our cropping sequence. The merino itself provides an important combination of wool, lamb and surplus sheep sales – the benefits of which are highlighted in today’s environment where those who are solely focussed on meat sales are doing it particularly tough.
For our Borambil sheep, our focus is wool quality, wool cut and well-nourished skin types on sheep that are easy care with quick maturity, high fertility, and strong conformation – an emphasis that spans both our stud and commercial operations. This drives the classing of our ewes and the selection of the sires that we introduce into our stud breeding program. And whilst we know there are ongoing improvements to be made, we believe we moving in the right direction.
We have reduced the average fibre diameter of the Borambil 2023 sale team by 0.5 microns year-on-year to 18.8 microns without compromising wool cut, body weight, fat or muscle. And with our recent selective sire purchases, we will continue to move forward in this direction in years to come.
At the same time, without compromising wool quality and cut, we continue to produce an ever-more modern merino with each successive generation. So, whilst we continue to mules our lambs at Borambil, our sheep are becoming plainer each year. Our objective is to transition to a non-mulesed style sheep in a way that does not compromise the foundation
of the merino, that is, an animal that produces a superior quality and highly valuable fleece.
We remain focussed on ensuring that every sheep within our stud is a productive asset. This means we pregnancy test and cull ewes that do not raise lambs. We also concentrate on the structural integrity and confirmation of our sheep as we, nor our clients, cannot afford to carry sheep that have a heightened risk of unnecessarily breaking down. The tightening margins facing the farming sector mean that this objective has never been more important.
Finally, we strive to make smart and sensible investments that streamline our current business or set us up for the future. At Borambil, we have invested significantly in genetics, and we will continue to do so.
We are also investing in data collection and analysis to assist in the rate of genetic gain within our stud. Whilst we continue to believe strongly in the need for rigorous visual assessment of merino sheep, for attributes such as skin types, wool feel, handle, body structure and confirmation, we have long supplemented visual assessment with specific objective measurements such as fibre diameter, comfort factor, body weight, eye muscle and fat. In 2023, Borambil Merinos has extended these measurements with the collection and reporting of data relating to ASBVs. We will further improve this process in years to come with genotyping, additional parentage and linkage information and ultimately improved data accuracy – all with the purpose of providing more useful information for our own use and for the use by you, our ram buying clients.
Our objective is quite simple, to breed the best quality sheep possible, so that those who use Borambil genetics will have the utmost success back on their own farms for many years to come.
Borambil Merino and Poll Merino Stud will hold our 27th Annual On-Property Sale on 12 September. For more information call Rodger 0428 538 233 or visit www.borambilmerinos.com
We look forward to seeing you there.
Rodger and Kim Mathews
0428 358 233 firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke and Jo Mathews
0409 641 427 email@example.com
Rick Power - Stud Advisor
0437 131 925 firstname.lastname@example.org
0429 339 373 email@example.com
0427 816 063 firstname.lastname@example.org