“There’s a good demand for Merinos these days,” says Robert Rubidge Wellwood who farms on 10 000ha in the Graaff-Reinet area. His flock includes 700 stud ewes, 700 commercial ewes and 800 to 1000 hammels.
“All the members of Phoenix Merinos have invested a lot of time, effort and energy in their Merinos and they are passionate about their sheep. It’s a group of likeminded people with a progressive approach to farming, life and finance.”
The reason for Phoenix Merinos’ emphasis on wool is explained by William Biggs of Vleiplaats in the Murraysburg district where he farms on 10 000ha. He has 500 Merino stud ewes and 1500 commercial Merino ewes: “More wool means more profit. Wool is an export commodity and as such capitalizes on the falling rand. As we look to the future, this will become increasingly significant.”
The growing demand for wool is evidenced by the fact that the wool market this season closed at its highest level ever in Port Elizabeth this year (2015).
The fleece of a top stud ram at six months growth – excellent length, quality and definition. This is the quality of wool to which Phoenix Merinos aspires.
All five members are in South Africa’s top percentage of wool producers, with a medium wool with an average of 20 microns and below per clip and a 70% clean yield. The group average is 5.5 to 6 kilograms of wool per ewe per year.