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Wool growers advised to keep eye on prices

Farmers could be missing out on 30c or more a kilogram by failing to get their wool typed and valued before sale, according to WoolPro.

“China is back in the market and there are also big premiums being paid for wool of good style with low vegetable matter content,” says WoolPro senior valuer Graham Roddick.

“No matter how they sell their wool – whether by auction, private sale or Woolnet – farmers should have it typed and valued first.

“For obvious reasons, this should be done by someone other than the firm buying the wool.”

WoolPro, previously the grower services division of the Wool Board, has for many years provided an independent wool typing and price quotation system for growers.

In addition, it publishes price quotations for 30 major wool types following each auction. Farmers can obtain these free by auto fax, email and teletext, or on the WoolPro or Woolnet websites.

“If farmers have previously had a sale lot typed by WoolPro or another independent expert, they can then work out reasonably accurately what it’s worth,” Mr Roddick says.

“For a precise typing of the wool, it needs to be cored and objectively tested by a test house first, to determine micron, yield, colour and vegetable matter content. WoolPro appraisers can then accurately type and value a grab sample, based on subjective parameters like length, style, strength and visual colour.

Valuation 2

“If the wool hasn’t been cored and tested, WoolPro can value a properly drawn hand-sample. Sample bags, along with instructions for drawing samples are available free on request.”

Mr Roddick says WoolPro normally charges a nominal $10 for typing and valuing a sample, but no charge is being made for this service at present.

“We are trying to encourage farmers to take individual responsibility for the marketing of their wool. There’s a culture in the wool industry that wool marketing is always someone else’s concern.

“Farmers spend a year growing it and they are the only ones with a vested interest in maximising net returns from the sale of their wool. So it makes sense for them to spend a little time making sure they are selling their clip to their best advantage.

“If you don’t know what you are selling and don’t know what it’s worth, how do you know whether you’ve sold it for a good price or not?”

Mr Roddick says that crossbred wool price differentials for colour, vegetable matter content and length are extremely sensitive at present. It is also very difficult to assess yield by visual assessment.

“Farmers selling crossbred wool which has not been properly typed and valued could very easily sell themselves short by 30c a kg.

“I know of very few farmers who can afford to throw this sort of money away.”

WoolPro’s North Island valuers are Graham Roddick and Graham Foote, Tel 06 835 1888. The South Island valuers are John Povey and Struan Hulme, Tel 0800 4 WOOLPRO (0800 496 657).

[ends]

For more information, please ring Graham Roddick
Tel 06 835 1888 or mobile 025 719 953

For a photo of Graham at work valuing wool,
please contact Greer Schick or Trevor Walton at WHAM,
Tel 04 473 9243.

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