New Zealand: Wool meets hemp on high country station

Where else !

Sheep at Glenaan Station feast on top tucker as shearing draws near to keep their fine merino wool in lustrous condition.

The station in the Upper Rakaia Gorge extends from the river flats to the tops of snow-covered hill country.

Paul and Prue Ensor farm sheep and cattle on the property that Paul took over from his parents in 2004.

The Ensors run about 6000 fine wool-producing merino sheep.

Good feed management is crucial for the sheep and their wool. In winter they’re put onto a new break of grass every day and get a top-up of silage.

“If they didn’t get very well fed for even a week the micron would narrow up and the wool would then get a break in it and it wouldn’t be as strong”.

The sheep are shorn in August and September and produce up to five kilos of 15 to 16-micron wool.

“You might get three tops out of one kilo so you know they’re clothing quite a few people per year per sheep,” he says.

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