WORLD interest in wool, while increasing price returns to growers, has also increased interest in wool sheds throughout the state and demand for more classers.
The attraction back to wool has flowed on to former classers who have let their registration lapse over the years and are keen to re-enter the industry.
To facilitate this the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) and TAFE Western, Dubbo, have joined forces to conduct refresher training courses and the first last week attracted 15 former classers.
AWEX wool registrar, Fiona Raleigh, was on hand conducting the course which filled the gaps in industry changes since participants’ last registration and allowing their classer’s stencil to lapse.
“We are bringing them up to speed on national wool declarations, bale weights, filling out wool specifications, code of practice descriptions and current industry specifics so they can renew their registration then move back into the industry,” Ms Raleigh said.
“AWEX listens to customers and provides a clip preparation standard to meet the customer’s expectations.
“There may be short term market forces that might indicate a different approach but AWEX is slower to move on that because we want to maintain our relationship with our customer.
“What the customer wants doesn’t change very quickly over time.”
Ms Raleigh said whatever short term changes, the code of practices were in place to meet the market at any time.
When it came to shearing, Ms Raleigh said six-monthly may suit some enterprises as it facilitates other work on farm. However, uniformity was paramount.
“The thing we are finding with six-monthly shearing is a greater difference at a shorter length in tolerance for length difference than there is for a 12-month growth,” she said.
“So classers have to pay even more attention to preparing short wool better for length than they have to do for 12-monthly shearing.
“We have to look at preparing the wool to meet a processor’s needs of uniformity with a slightly different attitude than you may have traditionally done. They are two different products.”
There is a difference in classing to tolerance for a 20 per cent variation in length to meet a processor’s needs in a 60 millimetre length fleece and a 100mm length fleece.
“But if you can manipulate your breeding genetics to gain two lots of 60mm fleeces a year you are starting to get both bites of the cherry as 65mm and above starts to move back into the combing garment market.”