Following 2019’s benchmarking results, it is proven that dual-purpose merino sheep are out-performing many other enterprises including dryland cropping on a per hectare, gross margin basis. I would like to show some recent data on merino sheep enterprises and Haddon Rig’s performance with the aim of attracting producers to the merino industry.

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the analysis of 10 typical sheep enterprises in 2019 revealed an average rise in gross margin of $5.50 per dry sheep equivalent (DSE) to around $50/DSE or $500 per hectare at a stocking rate of 10 DSE/hectare.

The same analysis, with the addition of an 8-month period of full drought feeding, shows the majority of sheep enterprises weathering the storm (Figure 1).

All Merino based enterprises had a positive gross margin except for the 20-micron enterprise joined 100% to terminal sires due to higher fodder costs. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 8.31.15 am.png

While drought impacted heavily on sheep enterprises, the prices in 2018 continued to strengthen, providing producers with strong market signals for when conditions improve (Figure 2).

Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 8.32.46 am.png

Wool enterprises increased by $9.50, on average, with the 18-micron self-replacing Merino enterprise delivering the highest gross margin of $63/DSE, breaking the $600 per hectare barrier at 10 DSE/ha. The 20-micron wether enterprise saw the largest gain, with gross margin up $13.07 to $49/DSE, or $130/ha at a stocking rate of 10 DSE/ha.

This result is primarily due to wool income gains, with the enterprise also receiving a 21 per cent increase in the dollar value of four-month-old wether lambs sold to fill demand from backgrounders.

Genetics and management drive farm returns and I am proud that Haddon Rig has consistently achieved placement within the top 20% of Agripath benchmarking results over the last 5 years (Figure 3). Proof that sheep enterprises perform strongly, even in poor seasonal conditions.

Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 8.34.38 am.png

I encourage you to consider joining the merino sheep industry to partake in the strong returns. Genetics forms the basis of a profitable enterprise and I welcome you to our on-property, 2-tooth ram sale this week on Thursday 12thSeptember. Haddon Rig will be offering 120 merino rams and 40 poll merino rams in the auction and a selection of 500 premium grade rams for sale after the auction.

In addition to purchasing some of the premiere genetics in the Australian merino industry, Haddon Rig offers over 100 years of merino breeding and production experience exclusively to our clients. We provide advice with:

·      Developing breeding objectives and operational strategies

·      Livestock purchasing advice for poll and merino rams, and merino ewes

·      Animal husbandry and nutrition advice on lamb production, weaning, and confinement feeding

Haddon Rig has over 100 clients across all sheep production areas of Eastern Australia which provides a good exposure to various production systems and broadens our expertise.

Haddon Rig produces highly productive, dual-purpose merino sheep that cut quality wool and produce desirable carcass traits. We aim to take advantage of strong demand for sheep meat and wool.

Please find enclosed a copy of the 2019 ram sale catalogue for your perusal. Further information can be found on our website www.haddonrig.com.auor by contacting one of our team.

George Falkiner, Principle        
m: 0418 474 262         

Andy Maclean, Stud Manager  
m: 0429 662 226         

Stuart Murdoch, Classer                       
m: 0427 437 103         

Paul Kelly, Stud Rep.               
m: 0427 476 367         

Andy McLeod, Stud Rep.         
m: 0418 465 725

I look forward to welcoming you to Haddon Rig on Thursday 12thSeptember and sharing our passion and optimism for the Australian merino industry.

Yours sincerely,

George Falkiner

Principal, Haddon Rig Pty Ltd