Marlow thrives with Konsortium
A total about-turn in our sheep farming. This is the positive impact which Konsortium-Merino has had on the Marlow Merino flock, says Charl Naudé senior farm manager at Marlow Agricultural School.
The fact that Marlow performed a progeny test, using Konsortium rams on their stud ewes, means that they will soon be able to furnish their own BLUP-data. Since the decision to work together, the Merino section at the school has improved as regards income, adaptability and uniformity of the flock.
"A huge plus is of course the exposure of the Marlow students to BLUP, performance testing and hand-eye selection. This will stand these future farmers in good stead when purchasing rams for their own farming one day."
Marlow Agricultural School and Konsortium-Merino will be hosting their first joint sale on 23 February 2007 at 14:00 at the Marlow clubhouse. Approximately 60 rams will be auctioned - all Konsortium progeny from the schools' stud and purebred Konsortium rams.
The Konsortium rams were entered at Marlow when they were one year old in order for the group to run together under the same conditions. The first step towards this Merino sale was taken in April 2005 when the entire Marlow stud, of approximately 500 ewes, was artificially inseminated with semen from 10 Konsortium stud rams.
We have made our best genetics available to them free of charge, says Gawie van Heerden, Konsortium-Merino breeder. He is very excited about this new partnership. Not only does it give Konsortium the opportunity of working together with future young farmers, but it is also a means to improving the Marlow flock and making Konsortium rams more readily available to farmers in the Cradock area.
Charl says that Marlow will endeavour to sell quality Merino's to the public at affordable prices. It is a privilege for the school to be so closely associated with the Konsortium. Every aspect is tackled positively, professionally and with an eye on the future.