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2010 New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
2010 New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition

This iconic event, now in its 14th year, continues to grow with farmers putting their hands up to enter this competition to determine how they are progressing, as the Ewe Hogget Competition continues to identify the top operators and rewards excellence.

The hogget competition gives farmers the opportunity to benchmark their flocks against others at both local and national level as well as giving them the chance to compare different farming systems and learn from other competitors as well as the judging panel.

The competition continues to be jointly sponsored by Alliance Group Ltd, Merial Ancare, Ravensdown, Rabobank, New Zealand Sheepbreeders' Assn, and Country-Wide.

There is an overall winners' prize package of $10,000 and prizes for the six finalists and 18 semi-finalists. The 6 breed finalists are invited to a Presentation Dinner &/or the Field Day, depending where the location of the Winner is.

This year there are Special Awards for Flock Performance and Wool Quality & Production.

Entries need to be in by 20 March as judging gets underway the following month.

There are six breed sections within the competition. These are Perendale, Coopworth, Romney, Crossbred (strong wool), Composite (three crosses or more) and Fine Wool (Merino, Corriedale and Halfbred).

Flocks are judged using a points system with a total of 50 out of the 100 possible points being awarded for performance. This will include information such as details about the farm, stock numbers and productivity. Stocking rates, the class of country, lambing percentages, target liveweights, hogget fleece weights and wool production will all be taken into account in this section.

A further 15 points can be awarded for wool quality, 20 points are allowed for breeding and selection objectives and a total of 15 points are allocated for breed type and evenness of the flock.

To be eligible to enter, farmers must have 80% of their replacements from their ewe hoggets, with a minimum flock of 250. The hoggets must only show milk teeth and can be either woolly or shorn. All breeders of flock hoggets from commercial sheep are also eligible to enter.

Farmers who get through to the regional, semi-finals and finals will need to show judges a copy of their sheep and wool accounts, killing sheets and wool sale information.

This year's judges are farmers Stephen Rabbidge and Len French, and Andrew Mackie (Alliance Group). The New Zealand Sheepbreeders Assn continues to administer this event and Greg Burgess from the NZSBA says the competition provides an important link with sheep farmers who are working to lift performance and productivity.

"The objective is to select the flock replacements that are likely to be more productive and profitable over their lifetime. This Competition gives recognition to those farmers who are continuing to raise the bar."

He says the success of this unique competition is the many hours put in by volunteers from the farming community and allied industries, and without their passion and drive there would not be a competition.

This year the organizers are encouraging more North Island entries by a variety of means.

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