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International merino industry flocks to South Australia

Primary Industries

TOP woolgrowers and sheep breeders from around the world are coming together for a new six-day event that aims to strengthen global networks and highlight industry growth.

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The inaugural World Merino Insight (WMI) will take place in South Australia’s capital Adelaide next month and will feature one of the world’s largest merino ram sales.

WMI Co-Chair John Daniell said the merino industry was experiencing great commercial success and the event would provide detailed industry insight.

“It’s really profitable at the moment with high priced lamb and mutton highlighting the value of running a merino sheep flock,” he said.

“We are also stressing the dual benefits of the modern day merino with its excellent wool returns and high protein meat value.

“It’s an event focused on the whole spectrum of the merino industry, whether you’re with the meat industry, wool industry, a local breeder or an international breeder.”

The World Merino Insight will be held in South Australia from September 4-9 to coincide with the state’s famous Royal Adelaide Show.

It will include ram sales, conferences, networking opportunities for delegates from a number of countries including Argentina, Uruguay, Russia and South Africa.

The Royal Adelaide Show is an annual carnival that also hosts one of the largest merino ram sales – the Classings Classic Ram Sale – that will take place on September 5.

Last year’s sale totalled about AUD $712,000 from 81 rams and the highest bid was $38,000.

The WMI will also hold a parade of merino wool garments supplied by TAFE SA and the Australian Wool Industry.

There are about 11 million sheep in South Australia producing about 104,000 tonnes of meat for export markets each year.

Last year there were 52 million kilograms of wool produced in the state – about 90 per cent of which came from local merino farms.

“South Australia stands very tall in the merino industry, not only nationally but internationally as well. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the SA product to be showcased to the world’s biggest industries,” Daniell said.

“Ram sales this year in the merino industry have been very strong and a lot of studs have recorded record sales. There might not be any records here but I imagine there would be very strong interest in the top genetics in the Adelaide ram sale.”

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