Wattlebank joins field day

Wattlebank joins field day


Sheep
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Wattlebank Merino stud will take part in the Loddon Valley Stud Merinos Field Day for the first time this year.

Wattlebank Merino stud will take part in the Loddon Valley Stud Merinos Field Day for the first time this year.

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The Glen family’s Guildford-based stud was founded in 1964 on Chatsworth House and later Warrambeen stud ewes and rams. Since the early 1970s, 18 top Merryville stud sires have been purchased for up to $15,000.

Since 2000, the family has bought cast for age (CFA) stud ewes from Merryville.

Stud classer Stephen Glen said at Wattlebank, they aimed to produce a large-framed animal with a good spring of rib, carrying a long-stapled, soft, well-crimped, white and high-yielding fleece in the 17 to 20 micron range.

He works with brothers Stuart and Ian and the next generation is also helping them, particularly at shows.

Robert and Colin Glen are pictured with Reserve Grand Champion and Grand Champion Superfine rams at Sheepvention, Hamilton, 2015 both by a Conrayn sire.

Robert and Colin Glen are pictured with Reserve Grand Champion and Grand Champion Superfine rams at Sheepvention, Hamilton, 2015 both by a Conrayn sire.

Mr Glen is passionate about wool and said it was terrific and “about time” the wool market had picked up and growers of finer types were rewarded with a premium.

“It was only the diehards that were staying with fine wool, and it (the market) needs to stay like this or better got a few years, to see people stay or return to producing finer wool,” he said.

Mr Glen said the sires of this year’s sale rams demonstrate the investment the family had made in genetics – the sures include Merryville Grand Monarch 42nd; Conrayn Bendigo (that topped the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, Bendigo, at $20,000 in 2012); and Demondrille Pres ( 2012 ); a Merryville Grand Monarch Syndicate son (purchased at Great Southern Supreme Merino sale, Canberra, in 2014).

The family has also introduced a Sorrell Springs ram and Mr Glen said this Tasmanian stud had Bindawarra and Nareeb in its background, and had a slightly broader micron than other rams they’d used, bold crimp, long staple and heavy cutting.

The Glen family are keen to put their sheep in front of people at the field day.

Mr Glen said last year, they started a Poll Merino stud with some Poll Merryville ewes and selected Wattlebank stud ewes, and on the sires side – a Merryville Poll ram and a Bocoble Poll ram. They also purchased a Wurrook stud sire last year.

The family joins 250 to 300 ewes each year, and Mr Glen said they had classed them hard to get back to that core flock.

He said he and the family believed it was important to invest in leading genetics, especially to improve the quality and quantity of wool.

Clients from throughout Victoria, including from near the South Australian border, southern Western District and north east, travel to their on-property sale each year.

And while wool market is firing and the sheepmeat market remains strong, Mr Glen said the number of Merino ewes was still low.

“The whole industry relies on a Merino base and hopefully if prices continue to be strong, it will encourage people to join to more Merino rams again.”

Wattlebank will be at the Serpentine Recreation Reserve

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