For the second year running, ‘Meadow Drive’, at Golspie took first place for their Winyar-blood flock of maiden ewes in the 2019 ANZ Agribusiness Taralga Flock Ewe Competition.
Judging the competition were David Zouch, ‘Hollowmount Merino Stud’, Bigga and Ben Patrick, ‘Yarrawonga Merino Stud’, Harden.
Crediting the evenness of the flock, Mr Zouch described them as a magnificent line of commercial ewes. “They have good conformation, and are well-nourished; with good-crimping and heavy cutting, very stylish, well-covered and structurally correct.”
Mr Croker, together with his wife Margaret, has entered the competition for the last 16 years, placing first in three of the last four competitions.
Overall, Mr Croker is encouraged with the direction of the flock. "They’re getting a better frame about them, and producing more wool.
“They are cutting a kilogram more these days and maintaining the micron,” Mr Croker said.
The average micron for the 2018 flock was 18.8, and the ewes cut 6.8 kilograms. He wants to be up around the 19.5 micron mark and to cut more wool. The main line of sheep is currently producing around six kilograms.
Since his original flock, Mr Croker has worked with Allan Dawson of 'Winyar Merino Stud', Candowindra to class his flock, and select rams, as well as using agents.
He also has has 400 older Merino ewes joined to Border Leicester, and a mob of around 60 Hereford cattle.
Placing second was Steve Mills of 'Seamens', Golspie presenting a Stillbrook-blood flock, John Corby of ‘Hilltop’ with his Grassy Creek/Carrabungla-blood maidens placed third, fourth place went to Chris and Stephanie Croker of ‘Ayrston’ with their Thalabah/Lach River entry, and Luke Carroll of ‘Leighwood’ placed fifth and was the recipient of the Future Development award.
‘Meadow Drive’ and ‘Seamens’ will now enter in the Southern Tablelands Flock Ewe Competition.