Visitors to the recently held sheep field day at Plevna Merino Stud, Trundle, were in for a treat when being told about and shown new developments in livestock and wool marketing as well as a factual and practical display of lifting reproductive performance in their Merino ewe flock. Current Plevna Merinos that are now being produced in their breeding operation were also on display for visitors to have a good look at.
Boyd Aveyard, Plevna Stud Principle, commented “The Plevna sheep are now cutting more wool of 110 mm staple length and about 2.5 micron finer than it was in the mid 1980’s. They are now more fertile, fecund and much better at rearing their lambs as evidenced by an average lamb marking percentage to ewes mated in excess of 115% for the past 5 years. Our selection program over a series of years has certainly paid off. Genetics are guaranteeing a constant improvement in lamb rearing success for our ewes. Introduction of the Poll gene, increased body length and the measurement of meat traits and selecting for wrinkle free sheep is also contributing to easier management and a more dual purpose sheep”.
Guest speaker Dr Gordan Refshauge, livestock research officer with NSW D.P.I, Cowra, talked about and demonstrated a simple technique which will help to raise fertility, fecundity and lamb rearing success in Merino’s.
This technique, called ‘wetting and drying’, was first introduced to Plevna in the early 1970’s and has been used at lamb marking every year since. Every breeding ewe at Plevna has to rear at least one lamb each year to stay on the farm. Dr Refshauge stressed “Your ram source must be selecting for rearing ability for best gains!”
Other guest speakers at the field day, Megan Rogers D.P.I NSW, Garry Dick Auctions Plus, Rob Hellyer Livestock, Frank Donnelly and Boyd Aveyard Plevna, provided visitors with an insight to top lamb crop program details, auctions plus marketing operations, future direction of client services and grazing management.