2 May 1997


ALL of last years clip will be sold by the end of the month, according to David Darke, Kingsbridge, Devon. Mr Darke, who is south-west regional member for the British Wool marketing Board, reports a buoyant trade.

"Weve been selling 80-90% at every sale and the trade is on an even keel. The price is about 10% down on the year at about 105p/kg. Although theres been a big improvement in wool presentation, poly bale cord fibres and bits of straw and hayseeds still appear in fleeces," says Mr Darke.

"Our competitors dont have that problem, but our wool is still the best in the world for springiness and popular with buyers. Without plastic and straw we could sell even more."

Mr Darke is confident that the boards programme to encourage more young people to learn to shear is succeeding. Last year more than 300 qualified for the Blue Seal of Approval. Better liaison between the board and shearing contractors will improve the number of young shearers going on to become experts, hopes Mr Darke. &#42