His line of 600 maiden ewe hoggets will feature in the Hay Merino breeders sheep sale in September – a sale considered as the mecca of the Merino breeding in eastern Australia.
Farmed over 9750 hectares, south west of Hay, Narringa’s 3000 breeding flock plus its followers are grazed on typical Bladder saltbush country, with plantings of Old Man Saltbush and native pastures also prominent.
Narringa principal Duncan Fraser said that on his arrival from Greendale near Ballan, Vic in late 1979 the family partnership set about fining up the Narringa flock without losing frame. Then, its wool fibre count measured about 23-24 microns however today it’s now a more consistent 20-20.5 microns, with a full fleece cut nearing some 7.5kg.
Fertility has also been another focus of the Narringa flock. In good breeding years, like the present one, lamb markings of 100-110 per cent have been a natural course of events.
And as current chair of the Sheep Industry CRC, Duncan has embraced much of the industries developments including Eid tags in the nucleus ewe flock and the management practice of pregnancy scanning all ewes for twins, singles and dries so the ewes can be segregated and better managed accordingly.
Consequently dry ewes and ewe maidens are joined to SAMM rams and their progeny sold into slaughter markets while the balance of the ewe flock is joined to Willandra-blood Merino rams for a traditional June//July lambing.
Mr Fraser said that this season’s early break, which began with good rains last September, has allowed him to set the Narringa ewe hoggets for the September sale rather than their normal October or November market timeslot. He said the September sale is usually considered too early for the “south of the Murrumbidgee River properties” however with favourable conditions his young ewes were shorn early (in July) to the capture the benefits of the late winter growth.