Merino growers Greg and Mary Stuart of Tara Hills Station at Omarama have yet again proved merinos are ‘good all rounders’, this time by winning a special award for wool quality and production at the 2010 New Zealand ewe hogget competition.
This comes just a month after they winning the production section of the Otago Merino Association’s Merino Excellence Awards for the second time. They were runners-up in the same section in 2008.
The 3340ha high country property winters 7000 merino sheep and 400 cattle. It roughly earns its income equally from wool, beef and sheep meat. Only 340ha is irrigated.
When the couple first entered the ewe hogget competition in 2004, a year after taking over managing the property, they came last. They say the improvement in wool quality and production is due to advice from wool and sheep classer Dick McArthur. They are also grateful for help from ram breeders Bill and Andrew Sutherland of nearby Benmore Merino Stud and Jim Hore of Stonehenge Merino Stud near Ranfurly.
The average wool micron of the Tara Hills flock is 17.3 for ewes and 15.8 microns for hoggets. The Stuarts are also developing a small ultra-fine flock for the Italian suiting market.
>> Click here to read about wool and sheep classer Dick McArthur
>> Click here for information about Benmore Merino Stud
>> Click here for information about Stonehenge Merino Stud
>> Click here to read about the 2010 Merino Excellence Awards