A replicated trial with 4 stock rates of 'wet' ewes (9.0, 10.5, 12.0, 13.5 sheep/ha) and 4 stocking rates of 'dry' ewes (11.0, 13.5, 16.0, 18.5 sheep/ha) was established at the DSIR Grasslands 'Ballantrae' Hill Country Research Station to enable hill country farmers to make informed decisions as to the economics of farming breeding or unmated ewes. Stocking rate had a large effect on liveweight throughout the year with the greatest effect being in winter. Mean weaning weight of lambs was 25.4 kg at 9.0 ewes/ha and 19.7 kg at 13.5 ewes/ha. Dry ewes grew more greasy wool/ha than wet ewes (P<0.05). Greasy wool production ranged from 41.6 kg/ha at 9 wet ewes/ha to 81 kg/ha at 18.5 dry ewes/ha. At 13.5 sheep/ha dry ewes grew 28% more greasy wool than wet ewes which reared 1.2 lambs to weaning. November/December fleece weight/ha was unresponsive to increasing stocking rate for both wet and dry ewes (P<0.01). November/December fleeces were 18.6% heavier from ewes in paddocks having a sunny aspect than in paddocks with a predominantly shady aspect (P<0.001). Slowest wool growth occurred during August, being 5.3 to 8.3 mm/month and maximum wool growth occurred during January within the range 17.3 to 18.5 mm/month.

JG, Thompson, AC Simpson, RW James, HR Tervit, GW Asher, and AJ Peterson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 171-174, 1992
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