There has been debate about the usefulness and profitability of varying standards of clip preparation, and the timing and frequency of shearing. This paper takes a modelling approach to gauge the relative economic value of adjusting these factors to modify the style of wool. Although adult fleeces were used as the basis for the analyses presented, the model can be used to handle all types of wool. The model shows that shearing in spring, when wool colour is best, increases wool revenue. There may however, be conflict with the overall management of the ewe flock. Similarly, shearing twice a year will yield higher wool revenue, but provides a lower net margin from wool because of higher shearing costs, but with possible management benefits. Skirting levels can have a greater impact on wool revenue of twice-yearly shorn fleece wool as second shorn oddments are primarily downgraded on length with little change in yellowness. If the grower is supplying to a specified contract, the price differential associated with clip preparation may be substantively greater than those apparent in the auction.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 69, Christchurch, 85-89, 2009
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