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2014 Newsletter

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After a hot and dry summer following a light spring, we had a kind autumn.  Rain came late in March and in early April we had our most significant autumn rain for many years.  The warm weather stayed around till the end of May with phenomenal growth across the farm.  Our stud ewes are currently lambing with many multiples on the ground which will hold us in good stead for 2015 and beyond.  We are busy preparing our young rams for the upcoming sale season and at this stage are certainly looking impressive.

The ongoing fluctuations within the wool market continues to frustrate everyone but our confidence in the Dohne to provide a complete all round package of meat, wool, fertility and fecundity allows us to offer an animal that provides a great return on investment.

We look forward to catching up with our clients during the upcoming months and talking about how wonderful Dohnes are.

Uardry Genetics

Sin2014-05-29 14.24.02ce the complete dispersal sale of the historic Uardry stud flock in December 2012 we are pleased to advise we are continuing to maintain our selected Uardry bred ewes as a separate pure Uardry line at Kardinia.

By keeping them as a separate flock we can ensure they are breed to specific genetics to suit and adapt to our higher rainfall conditions.

We appreciate the ongoing discussion and support of our breeding objectives from clients who have been using a mix of Uardry genetics for sometime.


It’s the All Rounder

Encompassing the key profit drivers of fertility, fecundity, wool and meat, the Dohne Merino has firmly established itself as the ideal all rounder for now and into the future.

Under the recent ABARE Farm Survey results the report also covers long term analysis including an average productivity increase of only 0.1 per annum for sheep farms over the last 35 years compared to productivity increases of 1.6% per annum for cropping over the same period.  It is our belief this trend is due to the measured evaluation programmes from new crop varieties, breeding programmes for disease resistance etc and the continuous improvement programmes that farmers have adopted into their cropping operation.

Sheep farmers for too long have relied on subjective assessments and not moved to genetic measurement evaluations by using ASBV’s, full pedigree recording by seedstock producers etc. Quite simply many farmers did not take the opportunity to closely scrutinize the financial analysis and introduce new and measured programmes into their sheep flock.  It really is time to fully understand what exactly drives the profits of your sheep operation.

Dohne Merino’s have certainly provided that opportunity to fully utilize the tools described above to target your personal breeding objectives relevant to your individual farming requirements.  By introducing the are correct genetics can provide higher fertility rates, higher weaning and yearling  weights which means more $$$ in your pocket.   In simple terms, evaluate and continuously improve your sheep operation no differently than your cropping programme.

Kardinia Wool Income.

While wool is not the major component of our Dohne flock, it still represents an important part. This years wool clip averaged 19.8 micron and was sold in early July on a market which had lost 118 cents since early December.
Statistically, we averaged 5.12 kg per across all sheep and lambs with an average value of $34.09 per head. To look at this in a different perspective, we have a total wool value of $65.95 per breeding ewe for the year.

Genetic Trends.

Kardinia Dohne st510012 Genetic Trend 2003 to 2014ud continues to make genetic gain across all major measured traits at better than average progress as the accompanying graphs indicate. Being able to continually monitor our genetic movement is extremely important in allowing us to ensure that we do not deviate from our breeding objectives.


Rutherglen Hook and Hoof Competition.

Our Dohne lambs keep p2040708[1]erforming strongly in the Rutherglen Agricultural Hook and Hoof Competition this year coming equal first in the carcase value section of the trial with our pure Dohne wether lambs. There were 16 teams of lambs that were bred from various cross’s and were sired by Dorper, Poll Dorset, White Suffolk, Southdown and Charolais rams.
An increase of 10 grams per lamb per day would have seen us win the overall feedlot trial and our team averaged a very solid 373 grams per day on the Brassica and rye grass pasture. If any of our clients are interested in entering a team of 5 lambs in the 2014 competition please let us know by early September.  It is a great tool for benchmarking your lamb performance.


Meat Prices

This season Kardinia has marketed lambs through both saleyard and over the hooks with some very good prices at both sale forms and with an extremely good average overall. Lambs sold to a top in the saleyards of $164.60.

Lambs were also sold over the hooks to Swifts at Cobram. These lambs averaged 24.59 Kg and were sold at full crossbred values of $5.80/Kg.  Don’t let agents or processers tell you that Dohnes are not worth the same $$$ as crossbreds.

Overall Kardinia sold surplus sheep, cull ewes and lambs (no rams included) at an average of $101.81 per breeding ewe.

Elite Sires

KardinIMG_2577 - Copyia Sires continuing to perform at elite levels.  We have recently updated our website with all details relating to our current list of sires.  For more information just visit our website or give us a call.


Kardinia goes to Chile.

It’s been a slow process but a recent consortium of South American farmers have purchased Kardinia ewes and rams which will soon head into quarantine before being transported on the long trip to Chile.  The South Americans are quickly discovering how the Dohnes can significantly impact their local flocks and are notably impressed by their ability to provide an all round animal that gives them excellent wool growth, increased lambs numbers at weaning, ewes that have a strong robust mothering ability and extra dollar return for their meat.