Management factors under the direct control of the wool grower which influence objectively measured wool characteristics are breed, age, sex, level of feeding, frequency and time of shearing, breeding status and control of disease. Choice of breed has the greatest overall effect on wool type and resultant price level. Within the prevailing price structure wool returns for each breed type are more influenced by quantity than shifts in objective characteristics because of short term management decisions. This has resulted in considerable emphasis by growers, advisers and researchers on maximising overall wool production. Of the flexible management decisions, level of feeding and frequency and time of shearing have the greatest effect on objective fleece characteristics important in manufacture. Objective measurement will provide an objective basis for payments to growers through a better understanding of the technical effects of changes in measured characteristics. This will result in clearer price signals for differential changes in fleece characteristics and improved product specification ensuring the long term viability of wool production.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 46, , 183-186, 1986
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