Mohair production 'could easily triple'

Joseph Burston, of Oxford, promotes the cause of mohair angora goat fleeces at the Royal Agricultural Society's Golden Fleece at the Rangiora Showgrounds. Photo: David Hill
Joseph Burston, of Oxford, promotes the cause of mohair angora goat fleeces at the Royal Agricultural Society's Golden Fleece at the Rangiora Showgrounds. Photo: David Hill
An Oxford goat breeder is used to juggling goats and students.

Joseph Burston, who represented Canterbury mohair producers at the recent Royal Agricultural Society Golden Fleece held at the Rangiora Showgrounds, juggles farming 200 angora goats around his day job as head of science and agriculture at Oxford Area School.

''It's a pretty busy schedule, but I manage to fit it in,'' he said.

He said there was a growing market for mohair fleeces, which is the commercial fibre from angora goats.

''It could always be more. At the moment we send about one to two containers overseas from two warehouses, but it could easily triple.

''We could accommodate a lot more mohair if we had more producers.''

Mr Burston said there were up to 100 commercial breeders throughout New Zealand, plus lifestylers, ranging from 10 to 15 goats on small blocks to 400 or 500 goats for the larger operations.

There were 21 mohair fleeces from up to 10 producers on display at the Golden Fleece, which each had a commercial value of between $60 and $80.

The winning fleece, entered by North Island breeder and first time entrant David Brown, was a first-shear kid fleece, weighing in at 2.59kg and 25 microns and with a commercial value of $79.

-By David Hill

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