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2019 Newletter

Welcome to Kardinia 2019 Spring Newsletter

Print Newsletter – Click Here

What an interesting and sometimes challenging time the Australian sheep industry has experienced over the last 12 months.  With such a diverse Kardinia client base across different states we are hearing the weather has certainly created some extremes.  The lamb market is certainly buoyant with a strong positive outlook on the domestic and global platform and records will continue to be achieved.   Fluctuating wool sales  with some curious trends otherwise masked by China’s dominance emerged but hopefully will settle and confidence by global players will return.

Non-Mulesed Wool Holding Value
Non mulesed wool is obtaining premium prices of up to 200c/kg extra at auction due to the demand in Europe by retail brands looking for ethically produced wool.  The future is looking good with a shift by the younger generation who are voting with their dollar wanting to know the story behind the product they purchase.


Fox & Lillie Rural Agents: Eamon Timms and Jenni Turner with Don and Karen Mills.

As we advised our clients last year Kardinia Dohne Stud signed up to be among a growing number of Australian sheep producers to introduce the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) which means we can now market our wool as RWS certified. RWS is a global, independent and voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on. A recent Kardinia wool clip has been snapped up by leading US fashion brand Eileen Fisher for a range of their Autumn boiled wool jackets as part of their Autumn 2019 garments.

When to sell Lambs
At Kardinia we have worked hard to ensure that our rigid breeding philosophy uses ASBV’s to produce an “allrounder” that have an equal focus on wool quality, producing a prime lamb and excellent maternal traits.  With the added pressures of recent wool sales and climate conditions we can confidently say that Dohne’s fit the bill producing a fast growing prime lamb that meets market expectations and has the “stockies” providing high praise.

We decided early in the season that due to a number of factors including dry conditions, less grass, high feed costs, stock numbers that we would turn off our 4 month old pure Dohne lambs through the saleyards and received $192.80.  We had carefully compared the cost benefits of feedlotting with paddock supplementation or selling selected stock and grain to get us through the tough season and were delighted that our Dohne lambs had performed at such a high level at an early age.

Healthy Feet in NZ
Footrot is a disease that costs New Zealand sheep farmers over $80 million a year to treat. Selective breeding using a Footrot Gene-Marker Test (FGMT) has been developed by Lincoln University.  It significantly reduce the amount of footrot on farms as it identifies a sheep’s susceptibility or resistance to footrot with a numerical score to indicate the result.  Kardinia have worked closely with NZ clients ensuring that we only select animals that have been through the FGMT to identify rams with high genetic resistance to footrot.  Kardinia stud sire KD15. 2415 has a “1-1” score, which is the most resistant possible score. KD15.2415 is also a top 10 nationally ranked sire on Sheep Genetics data base.

KD figures

Australian Sheep and Wool Show 2019
It is always great to catch up with clients at Bendigo.  Always a busy event over the 3 days with the results of the National Landmark Wool Competition results announced with Kardinia placed 2nd in the sire fleece section.  The ram showing event always attracts great interest with Kardinia achieving a 2nd place in the NSW pairs.  Both those young sires will be on display at our upcoming property sale.

ASWS 2019 low res

Smart Shepherd
Technology now plays a large part of our sheep management programme and this year we trialled the Smart Shepherd collar method by attaching a small device to both the mothers and lambs. The animals are then released for two days (or longer), after which the pods are collected and switched off with data being uploaded through the data application and then processed with full pedigree results obtained.  We were impressed with the accuracy results and will minimise the human intervention around birth time when bonding of ewe and lamb is critical.

KD Ewe Smart Tag

The real drivers of profit in any sheep enterprises are breeding ewes – they are the factories of our farms and their performance with respect to fertility and mothering ability will always dictate how successful you are.