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Under Phil’s guidance, this team of plain-bodied Merino breeders enthusiastically pursue their policy of breeding a large carcass with quality fine wool. Theoretically their partnership enables them to reach this goal much quicker than any individual breeder. However, there is no scope for complacency. The Konsortium-members get tremendous satisfaction in their quest for continual improvement. “Never believe that when you get to a certain point, you’re there. Don’t ever put a limit to what you want,” they echo. They are enthusiastic about life and what they are doing and along the way close friendships are cemented.
- Over the past few years the average fibre diameter of the Konsortium-flocks’ clips has ranged between 18.5 and 19.5 micron.
- Hoggets shear 16 - 17.2 micron.
- The average clean yield of their fleece lines is 70% and more - and that of rams sold at their sales, as high as 81%.
- They boast lamb percentages of more than 100% in their respective commercial flocks, and as high as 140% in their Merino studs.
- Under normal circumstances slaughter-lambs are weaned at 30kg to 40kg off the veld. In good years they can weigh up to 50kg.
Silver merit rams
Every year Konsortium-Merino rams earn silwer merit status. In 2006 Konsortium was awarded 28% (27) of the 98 silver merit certificates issued by Merino SA. They received 23% (25) of the 109 silver merit awards given by Merino SA in 2003. In 2004 another 15 were added to their list, and in 2005 they received 16 more silver awards.
Silver merit status is awarded to rams with outstanding performance regarding measured and visual assessment. The best 20% of all rams in a test group qualify if they meet the minimum requirements. In 2013 the measured traits were: a body weight index of 100+, growth index (ADG) of 100+, clean fleece index of 85+, and a fibre diameter index of 110 and less. The ram's wool quality and conformation must also be above average.
In 2007 seventeen of Konsortium-Merino's 28 gold merit rams were ranked in the country’s TOP 60. The November 2007 Bayer Sire Rating, based on the results of South Africa's National Progeny Testing Scheme, rated 10 Konsortium rams under the TOP 25 with a relative economic breeding value (Rev) of more than R25.
Up until 2007 approximately 612 sires competed for gold merit rankings. The wool and meat production of more than 21 550 of their progeny were tested. The lambs were also visually evaluated for 11 wool and conformation qualities. The economic breeding value of a gold ram indicates how much more a farmer will earn per lamb (from his progeny) than the average (0) of the 21 554 lambs of the 612 sires already tested.
The record shows rams of the Konsortium-members perform well, not only in the Karoo, but also in veld clubs and progeny tests countrywide. From Vrede and Winburg in the Free State, to Middelburg and Cradock in the Eastern Cape, as far as Fraserburg in the North West, Konsortium has reapt the rewards of this partnership. The team used to compete in Merino SA’s national show for measured production and support veld Merino shows to proudly display their type.
These are five men whose passion and love for Merino breeding has bound them into a dedicated team. Together they offer today’s Merino farmer so much more.
“The strength of diversity. The power of focus.” Anon