November 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to news about Marlow Coopworths and what has been happening over the last few months.
Last years very high lambing % plus a good result from the ewe hoggets led to me tagging 800 lambs and weaning 734 from just 307 ewes to the ram plus the ewe hgts. So I’ve been able to cull 200 ram hgts to get down to the 160 currently here and readying themselves for sale.
The commercials went just as well so I had the challenge of getting a lot of lambs away to the works over the summer but as we know the schedule steadily increased so it was a great result from sheep meat returns. The outlook again is encouraging.
Beef returns were also excellent although coming off the boil now, but sadly the wool prices languished again. New clients report seeing increased wool weights from their shift to Marlow genetics and I will continue to select against wool faults and hopefully one day we will be rewarded properly.

Tree Harvest
Thirty years ago I planted three hectares of pinus radiata and then three hectares each of the next two years. More followed but these were my first plantings. At year five, I gave them their low prune and then a medium prune at year seven and thinned. By then the later plantings were due for their first pruning and I was in danger of not doing it on time and a young fellow turned up and he did the high pruning and subsequent pruning elsewhere afterwards. Time passed and the harvest was this past autumn. Financially a great result with the 9 ha yielding 5000t (560/ha), netting $41,000/ha or $1400/ha/year which is twice annual farming returns but a long wait of 29 years for the cheque.

However as exciting as it was, a forestry harvest is quite disruptive to a farming business with about half of Marlow out of action for 2-3 months with the fences cut for constant truck access as well as no power or water in my hills. But new fencing is back in place and I will re-plant about 13 hectares as have enlarged the block. The sons should be well pleased with me in another 30 years.

Otiwhiti FE trial
Over the last two autumns, Marlow has submitted rams into the B&L Genetics FE trial at Otiwhiti near Hunterville.
The trial is designed to better improve connectedness across breeds for FE so encompasses the 4 main breeds.
The 2017 tupping results are in and an interesting side result was the greater fecundity of the Coopworths. It was a mob mating exercise on hill country and Marlow had 9% of the sires but resulted in 16% of the progeny whereas several of the Romney sires from high profile studs didn’t produce enough progeny to be considered for the trial. Snoozing in the Rangitikei autumn sun while the Coopworths got on with their work.
The progeny of two Marlow sire’s were the highest two for weaning weight reinforcing the success of breeding objectives here and an interesting benchmarking exercise against industry.
FE remains an important breeding objective at Marlow with all rams used having passed the Ramguard test nil at .6 and all ewes are sired by rams who passed nil at .6.

SIL News
There are further changes from SIL in how the indexes are put together.
Last year the reproduction index (now DPCR) was capped to reduce R’s influence on the index and lessen continued selection for triplets while increasing influence from the other sub traits like survival, growth and meat.
The big change this year is how the evaluation that produces the reports we use is done. It is called ‘Single Step Genetic Evaluation’ and processes all the pedigree (performance), phenotype and genotype data simultaneously. For studs like Marlow that has genotype data from DNA, this will enhance the animal’s breeding values and increase breeding value accuracy, especially when the animal is young.
You won’t see any differences from this change but it does mean that genetic information from the DNA sampling I’ve undertaken over the years will now be incorporated in the numbers you use for selection.
The meat module has also been improved as the previous one was based on carcass weights of 14.6kg whereas industry now produces 18.6kg and reflects the changed composition of the carcass due to the work we have done with muscle and CT scanning.

Ram Selling December 2018
The vet came out last week and palpated all the 2th rams and blooded the MA rams and subsequently issued Marlow’s Brucella Ovis free certificate.
There are currently nine potential sires undertaking the Ramguard FE test.
If you do introduce a new client to Marlow, you receive a discount of 25% of their first year’s purchases off your own order.

Here’s a recent note from a happy client who changed to Marlow genetics a few years ago who’s ewes had lambed before that nasty early September storm that I know affected many of you;
234 bright healthy lambs tailed from 179 scanned in lamb hgts, 19 wet/dry and 2 deaths. No bearings. Completely unshepherded on sheltered hill country.
Our 2/4 tooth Coopworths to a Coopworth ram docked 178% from a 188% scanning. It was perfect lambing weather but the lack of wastage makes me feel better about the cost and work involved in an intensive vaccination program.
Very, very happy with how the Coopworths are going.

Once I’ve weaned the stud towards the end of November, inputted the weights and got an updated ram selection list, I’ll email it out to you and arrange a visit during December.
Could you please email me an estimate of your ram requirements for this year.
Thank you for your custom and support over the years.