Excellent new genetics to add to our Suidplaas stud
DOHNE MERINO, FARMING | Mar 20, 2023
It was Lot 30 that attracted the most attention – and the highest price – at the national Dohne Merino auction, held in Graaff-Reinet in February.
The ram was sold for R115 000. And it was jointly bought by Wynand du Toit of Suidplaas Dohnes, along with John Morris of Terra Vino Dohnes and Jurie and Boeta Wessels of Weska Dohnes.
According to Wynand, the new acquisition, bought from Henry and Stephan du Plessis of Kouga Dohnes in Kareedouw, will bring excellent genetics to the Suidplaas stud. “You don’t often find a ram with such excellent body conformation and wool characteristics combined in one animal,” he says. “It’s difficult to find such incredible balance.”
At least once every auction season, Wynand will buy in a ram, in order to continuously improve the genetics of the stud. “My clients expect it of me to bring new blood in. And when I introduce new blood, they can also benefit from this in their own herds when they buy rams from me.”
Wynand says now is also the right time to look to buy Dohnes – to make the most of some of the dampened prices in the sheep industry.
“Given some of the challenges experienced in the farming industry last year – especially in the sheep industry – many farmers reduced their sheep numbers. That led to greater supply than demand, and as a result, the price of ewes in particular fell somewhat.”
The single born ram features the following breeding values:
– Weaning weight direct: +2.21 kg
– Weaning weight maternal: +1.10 kg
– Total number of lambs weaned: +0.457 %
– Clean fleece weight: +0.306 kg
– Fibre diameter: -1.549 micron
– General merit: +24.730
THE price of mutton and lamb
The price of mutton and lamb is currently still considerably below the highs experienced in June 2022. At the start of March this year, they remained approximately 3% lower year-on-year. The Red Meat Producers Organisation blamed the current fall on loadshedding, which has affected the entire cold chain – including the end consumers. Consumers are unwilling to buy more expensive products, faced with additional cost of living pressure, and therefore turn to other cheaper sources of protein, like chicken.
On the upside, wool prices remain relatively strong compared to the previous wool season. Prices hit a season high in February this year – and while they have dropped slightly, remain stronger on a year-on-year basis. As of 8 March, the SA Merino indicator stood at R186.06/kg versus R180.16 in 2022.
“The wheel is turning all the time – as prices move up and down. That’s why, during times like this when prices are lower, farmers can make the most of this situation.”
He says prices are already starting to turn. “That means these past few months, and the months ahead provide you the ideal opportunity to get good genetics at good prices.”
– Standard Bank Livestock Biweekly update, 3 March 2023
– Cape Wool SA: National Wool Market 8 March 2023