Return judge James Derrick, Karoola Downs Poll Merinos, Gundagai assessed the ten flocks of maiden ewes entered in the Gunning flock ewe competition with new judge Alex Wilson, Kalaree Poll Merinos, Tarago.
Ten flocks were entered and James Derrick complimented all breeders on their enthusiasm and dedication in maintaining the quality of their flocks during a very trying season.
“A lot of the sheep were in reasonable condition for the season,” Mr Derrick said.
“Many of the young ewes had been fed in a confined area to give the older ewes more of the available pasture, but I thought it might have been best if the older ewes had been gone through to take out the tail and reduce numbers but not quality.”
Mr Derrick said despite the best efforts of the landholders, the sheep were showing the effects of having lived through a drought and in particular those which are attempting to reach their enormous genetic potential on little feed.
“We were seeing sheep that were requiring high maintenance needing more protein to perform and they weren't perhaps as productive as they should have been,” he said.
“Interestingly, many people are thinking about their grazing strategy, getting away from the traditional ‘set stocking’ and using a form of rotational grazing to make better use of their pastures.”
The five finalists will be on display during the Gunning Show on Saturday and the winner and placegetters will be announced.