Fleece testing “on Farm” can be a valuable tool to assist in the evaluation of individual animals (in relation to important fleece characteristics) with the resultant objective test results aiding the selection process.
In recent times more producers appear to be using objective test data to both select animals for breeding programs, as well as using the test results as a means of evaluating fleeces for the purpose of classing/sorting.
The sampling technique that appears to be favoured in the majority of cases is MID-SIDE sampling. Although this method has been widely used in the past in the wool industry, it’s accuracy as a method for testing Mohair is less reliable.
An Angora fleece lacks the uniformity attributed to Merino fleeces for example, therefore, mohair samples taken via this method can vary considerably in relation to how representative they are, and therefore their degree of accuracy.
In recent times we have sorted clips, which have been classed using objective guidance test results, obtained via the MID-SIDE sampling technique. In some cases the fleeces classed by A.M.M.O. Ltd have been sorted into lines finer than the test results had indicated. In other cases we have sorted fleeces into stronger lines than the tests indicated due to the fact the handle, appearance and fleece type was not representative of the type indicated by the guidance test result.
The most reliable method of obtaining a representative sample from a fleece is to use the GRID SAMPLING method.
A grid consisting of mesh with (approx) 100mm squares is placed over the entire fleece and a small sample drawn from each square.
An acceptable degree of accuracy would be obtained if all squares more than half-full are sampled. The small samples (sub-samples) are blended to form the composite sample, which is then sent to the Lab/Testing house for testing.
The GRID SAMPLING method will help ensure your test results are more effective and reliable as a selection tool and a guide for classing, as the results obtained will be more representative and with a higher degree of accuracy.
Bales are Core sample prior to auction in conjunction with an Australian Wool Testing Authority representative. Samples are then tested at the AWTA’s Labratory for micron, combing yield, vegetable matter content and other factors relevant to processors.
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