Lock structure at Boorowa

Lock was hot topic at Boorowa

Sheep
Matt McGrath with his Tara Park-blood late June-shorn ewes classed by Guy Evans.

Matt McGrath with his Tara Park-blood late June-shorn ewes classed by Guy Evans.

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Eight flocks entered in the Boorowa Merino ewe competition attracted keen discussion on the Merino industry.

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Judges Andrew Raynor, Grathlyn, Hargraves and Tom Kirk, Bundemar, Baldry (recently moved from Condobolin).

Judges Andrew Raynor, Grathlyn, Hargraves and Tom Kirk, Bundemar, Baldry (recently moved from Condobolin).

Sheep classer Greg Carmody with Narelle and Bruce Nixon, Clovelly, Boorowa.

Sheep classer Greg Carmody with Narelle and Bruce Nixon, Clovelly, Boorowa.

Murray Dymock, Bruce Reid and John Dymock at Macclesfield, Boorowa. The late May-shorn Dymock flock of Royalla-blood was classed by Paul Kelly.

Murray Dymock, Bruce Reid and John Dymock at Macclesfield, Boorowa. The late May-shorn Dymock flock of Royalla-blood was classed by Paul Kelly.

Toyha and Ben Johnson, Braeside, Boorowa with a draft of Koonwarra-blood ewes classed by Jono Merriman.

Toyha and Ben Johnson, Braeside, Boorowa with a draft of Koonwarra-blood ewes classed by Jono Merriman.

Dermot McGrath, Clear View, Boorowa with his Tara Park-blood draft of June-shorn ewes.

Dermot McGrath, Clear View, Boorowa with his Tara Park-blood draft of June-shorn ewes.

George Gregory with his Winyar-blood November-shorn ewes classed by Allan Dawson.

George Gregory with his Winyar-blood November-shorn ewes classed by Allan Dawson.

Bill Hurley, Old Killanear, Boorowa with his June-shorn Demondrille-blood maiden ewes classed by Andrew Davis.

Bill Hurley, Old Killanear, Boorowa with his June-shorn Demondrille-blood maiden ewes classed by Andrew Davis.

Peter and Tony Croker with their Yarrawonga-blood October-shorn ewes classed by Steve Phillips.

Peter and Tony Croker with their Yarrawonga-blood October-shorn ewes classed by Steve Phillips.

Drought didn't deter eight Merino breeders in the Boorowa district from entering their classed maidens in the 32nd Boorowa Show Society annual flock ewe competition.

Return judge Andrew Raynor, Grathlyn, Hargraves and Tom Kirk, Bundemar, Baldry (having relocated from Condobolin) assessed each flock.

During the day there was a lot of talk about the various virtues of containment lots versus paddock feeding - a common enough problem during the past couple of years.

But with dust a big issue this year despite best efforts of breeders, Tom Kirk raised the issue of lock.

"I have a bit of a theory on lock structure," he said. "As much as the things that contribute to lock structure are genetic, there is also a sort of mechanical thing where you need to have density and nourishment to build that lock structure."

Mr Kirk said if any one of those traits was lost or missing, the lock structure fell to pieces.

"If you are a little short on nourishment then the dust starts to get in and it breaks your lock structure down," he advised the crowd.

"Lock structure, especially if you have well-aligned wools with a little bit of cross-fibre that will hold your lock structure together.

"But if you are aiming for those soft really well-aligned wools that micron well, the only thing that will hold them in a lock structure is the nourishment."

Mr Kirk said it was most important to get nourishment right to the surface of the fleece.

"If you get your tip right the dust will stay on the tip," he said.

The five finalists to be shown at the 2020 Boorowa Show when the winners will be announced were:

- Bruce and Narelle Nixon with Tara Park-blood May-shorn flock

- Bill Hurley with Demondrille-blood June-shorn flock

- Murray Dymock with Royalla-blood late May-shorn flock

- Dermot McGrath with Tara Park-blood June-shorn flock

- Matt McGrath with Tara Park-blood late June-shorn flock

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