Ranching Down Under

A top shearer can shear well over 200 sheep a day; however, most shearers will shear around 150 to 180 sheep. (Courtesy photo)

By Samantha Hall

Although the Australian agriculture industry has diversified a lot since the days of Australia, “riding on the sheep’s back,” wool and lamb producers in Australia have managed to maintain their dominance as world leaders in producing and exporting quality wool and lamb meat. The first sheep arrived in Australia in 1788, but it wasn’t until Captain Kent and the ship HMS Supply arrived from South Africa a number of years later with 33 Merino ewes on board that the sheep industry really started to gain any momentum. Still to this day after having been introduced all those years ago for their high quality wool production, Merino is still the most prominent breed of sheep in Australia, producing a high quality natural source of fibre to supply wool markets across the world. Merinos have also proven themselves when crossed with both British short and long wool breeds for mutton and prime lamb meat. To read more pick up the April 2016 issue of NTFR.