Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Breeders look forward to showcasing Dohnes at Australian Sheep and Wool Show

FIONA MYERS, The Weekly Times, July 15, 2016

A FLOCK of Dohne breeders will muster at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo this week as part of a world conference for the breed.

Dohnes are celebrating 50 years of the breed, and Australia will host the breed’s Global Dohne Conference.

Australian Dohne Breeders Association president Richard Beggs said the industry was looking forward to showing just what impact the South African breed had made locally.

“Dohnes have only been in Australia for 16 years and of course, most of the genetics came from South Africa,” Mr Beggs said.

“The first embryos came to Australia in 1999 and at the moment, you can’t buy in genetics from South Africa.”

Those importing the initial genetics made wise choices, including sourcing genetics from a wide range of climates in South Africa.

That’s why, Mr Beggs said, it was possible to find Dohnes run successfully in Australia in climates as diverse as Geraldton, in Western Australia, up to the NSW New England area.

When the program for the pre-conference tour was being organised, Mr Beggs said it was natural to think of it heading to Bendigo.

“This is the largest showing of sheep in the world, and while the conference is for Dohne breeders, some of these breeders also have other breeds of sheep so it will be fascinating for them to look around at Bendigo,” he said.

Australian Dohne producers will also have the chance to speak with international breeders about their operations, with the contingent at the show for two days.

It will also be the first time that Dohnes will take part in showing at Bendigo.

Mr Beggs said the Global Dohne Conference would bring attention to a breed that was relatively young in Australian terms but already making an impact.

“The Meat and Livestock Australia survey in 2014 showed 22 per cent of Merino flocks had been influenced by Dohnes,” he said.

“It’s about reproduction, low cost of production and fertility that has seen the breed make an impact.”

lambs weekly times 15th July
Strong start: Dohne sheep have only been in Australia for 16 years.

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