Fleeces from 2000 mixed age Merino ewes in each of 6 years were classed traditionally (i.e. by subjective assessment of fineness into 2 or 3 lines) or objectively (i.e. fleeces put into one line). Off-type fleeces (about 10%) which differed markedly from the bulk of the clip were excluded from all the lines. The fleeces from 800 to 1000 Merino hoggets in each of 6 years were also used in comparisons of traditional and objective classing. The fibre diameter of each objective (OCP) line was very similar to the weighted mean of the corresponding traditional (TP) lines. Clean auction prices for the OCP lines were 0.8% and 1.0% lower than the weighted means of the TP lines for the ewes and hoggets, respectively. Research in Australia has shown that there is no difference in the processing performance of traditionally or objectively classed lines of fleece wool. The optimum classing method is therefore determined solely by the relationship between price and diameter. Wools 21
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 46, , 198-200, 1986
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