The production of quality wool

Abasenzi benkampani iAl mawashi eBerlin becheba iigusha ezazikuthunyelwa kwilizwe iKuwait kuMbindi Mpuma-Umfanekiso: BHEKI RADEBE

During this season of sheep shearing it is important to take into account the things that can contaminate wool, as it is the cause of the decline in the quality of the wool and the price at which the farmers sell the wool in the market.

Contaminated wool makes wool buyers hesitate to buy wool that has been affected, as they receive severe penalties if contamination is found in South African wool sold overseas.

There are several factors that cause the farmers’ wool to be contaminated and as we know that the most affected farmers are farmers who farm in the rural areas.

To mention one of the contributors to contaminated wool, paint is the most popular and a major challenge.

Paint affects the value of wool, causing the price to decline as it is difficult to wash off. That is farmers are advised not to use paint to try to mark their sheep.

When you have already marked with paint, it is important that you shear it before the shearer shears it in the shed.

Among the other things that contaminate the wool: the ropes that tie the wool bale and polypropylene bags are some of the things that cause the wool to be dirty or contaminated and are rejected by the wool buyers.

They cause a lot of damage to the machines that wash the wool sold in the wool markets.

Another important thing is for farmers to know that sheep do not require to go deep into the forest, which means they should try by all means to not drive the sheep into the forest to prevent contamination.

As we know that it is easy for bidens pilosa and other weeds to stick to sheep’s wool. Those are some of the things that contribute to the reduction of wool prices in the market as well as the quality of the wool.

Wool classification is very important to the economy and its production; therefore, it is important to classify sheep with kemp from sheep with standard wool.

The value of wool that is kemp is lower than the value of standard wool, it is advised that sheep with kemp are sheared after to prevent contamination.

It is imperative that black sheep’s wool are not combined with standard wool, this will be advantageous to the farmer financially if they sort them in the right way.

While we are talking about ‘kempiness‘, it is important that dogs do not enter the shearing shed otherwise the farmers will find the kemp called floating kemp.

Another contamination farmers should take into account is contamination of wool by soil and grass. This contamination is caused by shearing outdoors because of not having a shearing shed.

Try as much as possible to avoid wool contamination in any way. Contamination has an effect on the wool price, it causes loss to wool production and the industry. Farmers must ensure that there is no contamination during shearing, when wool is being classified and when it is put into bales.

The shearing shed

• Clean the shearing area thoroughly before and during shearing.

• People who smoke should smoke outside because cigarette butts and matchsticks can get into the wool and cause contamination.

• Straw from whisk brooms cause a greater risk so plastic brooms should be used.

Classification of wool

• All marks or numbers on the wool should be removed.

• Black wool is not allowed where they are sheared, black sheep can be sheared after when all the wool has been put into bales.

• When you look closely at the wool found on the sheep’s head they usually consist of hair, especially from the sheep’s face. They cause contamination when you add it to the body wool because body wool generates a lot of money.

• Remove all the wool that has urine and faeces.

Stuffing the wool

• Only bales designed for wool should be used.

• The bales should be emptied to ensure that there are no dirty things inside, all this should be done outside. The threads on the bales must be removed with scissors.

• The wool should be spun with a machine designed for that purpose.

• When you write your bale do it gently so that the ink you are writing with does not penetrate into the wool.

• Separate the wool with paper when you are at the last bale and combine the remaining wool. Use paper with no pictures and words.

• The weight of the bale is between 120-180 kg.