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At a recent national mohair sale ( May & Sept 2008) Viewbank mohair achieved a premium well above the sale average for its mohair. Read more.......

 
Superior returns achieved through lower microns.

By careful selection and consistent breeding over more than 20 years, Viewbank Stud has achieved a dramatic reduction in average micron across the entire herd, while maintaining good fleece weights, fibre quality and carcass value. Stock are now producing kid fibre for the first three to four years of their life which is providing an excellent return on our investment. Our herd management also ensures that the average age of our herd is kept as low as possible, once again to maximise our returns on fibre.

Viewbank 1st fleece average (Autumn 2006) is 21.2 microns (u) with some individual animals as fine as 17u (while still having acceptable fleece weights, fleece length and body weights).

2nd fleeces have a mean fibre diameter (mfd) of 22.8u with 5.1 standard deviation (sd) and 22.4% co-efficient of variation (cv). This represents an amazing reduction of 10 microns in the mean fibre diameter in as many years.

3rd fleeces averaged 26.5 mfd, 5.9 sd & 22.5 cv (Autumn 07)

4th fleeces averaged 26.4 mfd, 22.7 cv (Spring 07)

5th fleece average is 29.4 microns (Strong Kid), (Autumn 07)

7th fleece average is 29. 6 microns (Strong Kid) (Autumn 07)

Both the 9th & 11th fleeces averaged 32.2 microns in Autumn 07.

Our Last Four Years'

Average Micron:

 

First fleeces 21.8 microns

 

Second fleeces 23.3 microns

 

Third fleeces 27.2 microns

 

Mohair producers seeking to maximise their mohair income, need to produce fine fibre (ie <30 microns) for at least the first three shearings. However it is almost as important that microns do not "blow out" excessively on subsequent fleeces. This is essential to avoid price penalties which usually apply for strong coarse fibre from adults. (2006 sales were an exception where adult fibre was well rewarded due to reducing supply. Prices for adult fibre in 2008 have again plunged to very low levels or remain unsold. This situation underlines the need to maintain pressure on micron blowout at selection time.)

Viewbank's breeding strategy has ensured that our fibre is rarely stronger than 32 microns, with a large proportion of it being graded as kid fibre ie under the critical 30 micron marker which divides Kid from Adult grades. Viewbank's mohair clip has consistently achieved above average prices for this reason.* This is also the main key to Viewbank's financial success in terms of mohair production.

The average fleece weight for our entire herd was 3.3 kgs for our 2006 Spring shearing, with a range of approx 2 to 4.2 kgs per head (excluding bucks which cut more fibre). This is an excellent performance for only six months production.

It is by reducing average micron and selecting for low variation (sd & cv) in mean fibre diameter while maintaining fleece weights that Viewbank's mohair clip has consistently achieved above average prices*

November 2006 at Lara Downs - our driest Spring for 90 years !!

Ludo our wonderful Maremma guard dog seen above, is sadly missed at Lara Downs. His replacement by alpacas as guardians for the herd, is still under assessment in terms of their effectiveness at keeping foxes at bay.

Viewbank's 2006 Autumn clip obtained an average gross price of $18.58/kg (greasy weight & ex GST) when prices rose across the board. This is a significant premium above the overall prices obtained by a major broker during the same period when sale averages were $16.70/kg (A2006) and $13.10/kg (B2006).**

Viewbank's mohair for the 2005-6 financial year averaged $15.90/kg. (greasy weight & ex GST). This also represents well above average earnings***.

* Prices compared with sale averages from major brokers.

** AMMO Markt Reports. ***AMMO prices for the other 05-06 sales were $10.46/kg (C2005) and $15.07 (D2005).

 

2008 Performance

(Price/kg and cut per head)

While mohair prices have generally fallen in the last few years, Viewbank has again performed well above average in 2008, with an average price of $14.13/kilo at the May 2008 auction. (AMMO A2008). The sale average was just $9.03/kg. ex-GST.

(Note: A small part (137 kgs) of Viewbank's Autumn clip still remains unsold and this will have some impact on the final price averages for our clip. Average price quoted for 5/08 above included 218 kgs all Kid lines, 110 kgs YG lines, 40 kgs FFH lines, 25 kgs short FH & 83 kgs stain lines.)

Total Autumn 08 clip was 620 kgs. Average cut per head was 2.47 kg/head (excluding adults which were shorn in short C length fibre).

While our Spring 08 shearing is still incomplete, with adult does yet to be shorn (post kidding), our yearlings and two year olds have delivered 386 kgs of mainly Fine Kid and Kid lines, with a small quantity of Young Goat and FFH for an overall average of $17.16/kg compared with the sale average of just $6.09/kg (AMMO B2008).

Note that Viewbank's herd composition is weighted in favour of younger animals with two thirds of our stock less than 2 years old. This is a deliberate strategy to maximise our mohair returns. Given our herd composition, once our adult animals are shorn and the fibre sold, our sale average for the season, will still be much higher than the national pooled averages.

 

Superior meat returns for well grown stock.

While Viewbanks's main source of income is the mohair clip, we have been careful to ensure that body size and carcass weights are maximised for the breed to ensure a good return for our prime young wethers and cull stock which are sold into the meat trade.

In Autumn 2006, our 18 month old wethers, sold following their 3rd shearing, achieved hot dressed weights ranging from 9 to 19.7 kgs and sold for $42/head average to a top of $65.

Combining both fibre production and meat values, these statistics clearly indicate that returns for a mohair enterprise can compare more than favourably with similar small stock enterprises and is well ahead of wool production at this point in time.

 

Average Body Weights by age group

In January 2007, Viewbank Does were all weighed as part of the RIRDC funded Benchmark project. The following data summarises the results:

Kids 5 months old = average weight 18.8 kgs (range 10-28 kgs)

Does 18 months - average weight 25 kgs (range 14-31 kgs)

Does 2.5 years - average weight 34.4 kgs (range 22-39 kgs)

Does 3.5 years - average weight 40.2 kgs (range 25-57 kgs)

Does 4.5 years & over - average weight 43.2 kgs (32-50 kgs)

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