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Dual purpose Pooginook Merino spells profit

Phillip Jones
Wether lambs


June 16, 2014

Forbes mixed farmer David Quirk made the switch from prime lamb production to Pooginook Merino wethers to simplify management.

David and his wife Taryn use Naparoo wheat and oat crops to finish Merino lambs then lock up for grain recovery on their farm, Wowingragong.

The couple privately sourced 2000 four-month-old Pooginook blood wether lambs in October.

The lambs were shorn in October and May for a total of 4.5kg of wool averaging 16.8 micron by 11 months of age.

“They are high cutting, good growing sheep gaining 150-200 grams a day on the grazing crops,’’ Mr Quirk said.

“The lambs are growing into nicely framed sheep, well rounded with good cover.

“The wool combed well, was a nice bright white with a bold crimping staple.’’

The six-and-a-half months worth of wool had a staple length of 55mm, staple strength of 52 Newtons/kilotex and was sold on a market paying 800c/kg for shorter carding length wools.

The wethers will be contracted to JBS Australia and sold on the open market.

As technical manager for Jemalong Wool, Mr Quirk worked with Pooginook to host a free hands-on workshop on profitable sheep production in March.

Mr Quirk said topics covered included ram selection using objective and subjective measurement, and breeding information to maximize the dollar return for growers.

“If the program continues to be funded by AWI and MLA, we will look at running more workshops at Tamworth and Cooma,’’ he said.

Mr Quirk said the dual purpose Merino was a popular choice in the Forbes region.


June 2013 drop Pooginook wethers owned by David Quirk – Forbes

October shearing  -  2kg per head av $13 per head
May shearing  - 2.5kg per head av $17 per head


650 head sold last month June, 23.6 kg av @ $5.40 plus $2.60 skin - $130.30

450 head sold second week July, 22.2 kg av @ $5.40 plus $6.60 skin - $126.60

450 head sold second week July 24.5 kg av @ $5.10 plus $6.60 skin - $131.55