Corriedale ideal for difficult times

New Zealand Corriedale Council president Mark Sidey, of Waipara, was thrilled to win the council...
New Zealand Corriedale Council president Mark Sidey, of Waipara, was thrilled to win the council’s production ram hogget class. PHOTO: DAVID HILL
The Corriedale sheep is holding its own in a challenging market, New Zealand Corriedale Council president Mark "Chief" Sidey, of Waipara, says.

The dual-purpose breed performed in dry conditions, was ideal for cross breeding, and its mid-micron wool was making a return at a time when other farmers were losing money on their wool cheque.

"It’s a good sheep for early lambing on dry country and we are just getting that wool bonus on top of it."

The Corriedale council showcased the top sheep in its annual production ewe and ram hogget competitions at the Amberley A&P Show last month.

Corriedale breeders from around the South Island sent ewe and ram lambs in late February to be grazed together at Dave and Rosie Clark’s farm at Fernside, near Rangiora.

"We don’t really get to see them again until show time," Mr Sidey said.

West Melton farmer Robin Wilson is congratulated by the sponsor, Boehringer territory manager...
West Melton farmer Robin Wilson is congratulated by the sponsor, Boehringer territory manager Matt Laurey, after winning the Amberley A&P Show’s feature Corriedale ram hogget class.

The sheep were put through various measurements and the top animals were taken to the show.

"It’s just trying to get away from the whole showing-type system and seeing how well our sheep can do, all getting fed the same and in the same conditions."

The sheep were shorn before the show, the ewe hogget fleeces judged and then valued by a registered wool buyer.

The highest wool value was $31.50, compared with $55 last year, Mr Sidey said.

"So we are certainly seeing a drop with Covid for our wool, but we are just hearing now that our wool is starting to improve again so, hopefully, it can get back up to the levels of last year."

The ewe hoggets were eye-muscle scanned, while the ram hoggets were CT-scanned at Lincoln University.

Southbridge farmer Gordon Gilbert won the New Zealand Corriedale Council’s production ewe hogget...
Southbridge farmer Gordon Gilbert won the New Zealand Corriedale Council’s production ewe hogget class announced at the Amberley A&P Show last month.

Southbridge farmer Gordon Gilbert came out on top in the production ewe hogget class, while Mr Sidey won the production ram hogget class.

Mr Gilbert and his wife, Barbara, farm in partnership with their son and daughter-in-law, Hamish and Meredith Gilbert, running 200 stud ewes and 1500 commercial sheep on a 200ha property.

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