Well before the millions of dollars spent on exclusion fencing in the shire have had time to have an effect, quality Merino fleeces were creating a buzz at the Longreach show on the weekend.
The town hosted the state sheep show a year ago, when drought was all around, and although not a lot has changed, 173 fleeces were stacked around the wool pavilion on Saturday, the best display at the venue in years.
Landmark’s David Hart said it was a fantastic showing from a renowned wool-growing area.
He gave a fine fleece from Alison Krieg’s Benella property at Blackall the thumbs-up as the grand champion fleece, and said all the wool was extremely sound, thanks to last winter’s rain.
Fleeces from local growers complemented the wool collective from a number of districts put together by Schute Bell’s Paul Grams, including fleeces from Isisford and Longreach wether trials, which has been travelling the show circuit.
David told the audience that while he felt the wool market was somewhere near its top, with spinners showing some resistance to prices, there was nowhere near the production of past years coming in for sale.
Stick with it and you'll get the rewards.
“So I think, stick with it and hopefully you’ll get the rewards,” he said.
Shane and Amanda Jones at Padua, Ilfracombe, won the champion pair of fleeces trophy, while the aggregate trophy went to Doug and Lauren Tindall, Janet Downs, Longreach.
Blackall entries dominated the individual awards, Benalla taking out single fine fleece, the Bredhauer family at Lambert collecting single medium fleece, and Roslyn Wood at Koondoo winning single strong fleece.
Pairs winners included the Banks family at Springleigh, Blackall (fine), Padua (medium) and Boree Downs, Longreach (strong).
Tony and Jan Hetherington, Darriveen, Longreach had the best locally grown fine wool fleece, while George and Judy Gowing, Glenarrif, Ilfracombe won this in the medium category, and it went to Tony Nielson, Ilfracombe in the strong section.
It was a different story in the flock ewe competition, which had just five pens. Prizes were shared between Bimerah and Summer Hill.
Sheep and wool displays were complemented by a very successful Merino Market, featuring retail outlets and online businesses based entirely in western Queensland, which had the wool pavilion humming with activity.