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2017 Newsletter


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More than Just a Merino Fleece.

Welcome to the Kardinia Dohne Stud 2017 newsletter. Dohnes are certainly becoming the emerging hero of the sheep industry with strong demand for animals that continue to tick all the boxes and provide a profitable return for growers. Wool prices are great but we need to keep the sheep industry in perspective and that is where Dohne’s have the ability to turn off a fast growing profitable lamb highly sought after by processors. No other sheep breed in Australia can provide these returns from a dual purpose animal.

It is heartening to see that many of our clients are continuously innovating across their sheep operations which set them up to handle the variations in the market. The use of ASBV’s in their commercial flocks are identifying the key breeding objectives with a heavy weighting of maternal and carcase traits like growth, fat and muscle whilst still retaining a profitable wool cut.

Ongoing Mulesing Debate – A Slow Death Over A Long Period.
A long tradition of garment makers using Australian wool is in jeopardy, as Europeans grow frustrated by a lack of progress to phase out the controversial practice of mulesing. But after more than a decade of calling for action on mulesing, global world industry leaders say they are fed up and are looking for wool from Australia’s competitors.

This ongoing discussion is now past the 10 year mark and fuelled by an apparent “disinterest” from Australian wool industry leaders that could potentially place huge ramifications across the sector. “Countries like New Zealand and South Africa are growing their non mulesed wool markets with Australia most likely to the country that suffers.”

Which brings us to the topic – do meat eaters care? Well a study of 16 meat markets over seven years by MLA has shown a steady rise in interest for animal welfare and is gaining stronger traction amongst consumers who are purchasing lamb. “That indicates it truly is a mega trend, it’s not a fad.”
Richard Norton – Managing Director – MLA recently shared these insights when attending the National Sheep and Wool Show and the Australian Dohne Breeders Association AGM. “We need to understand not only how consumers behave today, but how they’ll behave in the future and Australian farmers need to ensure they are breeding animals that fits the top five purchase drivers for lamb across the globe.
Kardinia ceased mulesing in 2006 and over the last few years have received interest from wool buyers wanting to source non mulesed wool. More recently a lamb processor also made an enquiry about the supply of non mulesed lamb. “This demonstrates the need for the meat and wool industry to work together for the longterm productivity benefits of Australia sheep producers.

Stock and Land – Sheep Week

The inaugural Sheep Week was heralded as a great success with Kardinia Dohne Stud being open to visitors on Day 5. A steady stream of visitors and industry specialists visited during the day and it was a great opportunity to build connections with new and existing customers and to grow our brand. On display were stud sires, young sale rams and a selection of stud ewes. Commercial flocks were viewed out in the paddock and as we were in the midst of lambing many lambs were born. Overall it was a great opportunity and we look forward to participating in future events.

KD Sheep Week 2017

Dohne – How They Stack Up Financially.

Since its inception the aim of the Dohne Merino has been well defined with the breeding objective to improve meat, wool and reproductive traits. In comparison, Fine Wool enterprises have focused on just wool in the past, and similarly, prime lamb enterprises have tended to focus just on meat and reproduction. This analysis modelled the Dohne, Fine wool Merinos and a crossbred Prime Lamb enterprise run in three different environments and found the Dohne Merino is more profitable based on the last 10 year prices whether it is being run in high, medium or low rainfall environments. It would appear that the adoption of objective measurement and modern breeding tools has meant that the breed’s objective has been well implemented over the last 50 years.

If you would like to read the article from Dr. Graham Lean – Agrivet Business Consulting – Click Here

GL Graph 1

The Dohne is the most profitable in all three locations.


GL Graph 2

Gross margins of three enterprises in high and medium rainfall locations.

graphs KD