2016 – We welcome Sienna Lynn Wilson


Sienna Lynn Wilson arrived on the 21st of March 2016. We thought it was fitting to photograph her in wool, so here is Sienna in our woolshed where she had a photoshoot with a local photographer, CB Photography. We are extremely happy with the very unique images she captured!

2016 – Young leaders shine at state sheep show
Queensland Country Life Article 25 May 2016

r98_89_1721_2676_w1200_h678_fmaxIt’s often said that the youth hold the future of an industry in their hands, and if Benn Wilson and state junior wool and sheep judges at the state sheep show are anything to go by, that future is bright.

Benn, the son of Max and Heather Wilson, Wilgunya stud, Dirranbandi, told the Queensland Merino Stud Sheepbreeders Association gala dinner that he was adamant the sheep and wool industry had a future.

He took part in a 10-day tour of wool-processing facilities in China in February at the invitation of AWI and said it had been an eye-opener.

“If the whole process of wool is 12 inches long, woolgrowers are the first inch and China is another five inches.

“We grow our wool and wash our hands of it, but the science that goes into garments and to top-end fashion designers to keep them competitive, is amazing.”

Benn and others in the pilot study visited three woollen mills of varying capacity, and saw the processes of scouring, top-making, weaving, dying and garment-making.

One of the innovations that excited him was in sportswear.

“The winter Olympics are in China in two years – I hope we can capitalise on that with our wool,” he said.

As a consequence of his exposure to the possibilities available to woolgrowers, Benn told sheep show dinner guests that while exclusion fences weren’t “the be-all to end-all”, they gave young people a future.

“I encourage the older generation to look at fences in terms of future-planning – they give your children a future,” he said.

2015 – Two Wilgunya Merino rams make $2400
Queensland Country Life – 8 October 2015
r0_313_5184_3229_w800_h450_fmaxWHEN Wilgunya Merino Stud principal Max Wilson saw the first hammer fall at $2400 for their annual ram sale today, he thought “you bloody beauty!”The winning bidder was Walgett’s David Harthog.His purchase of the auction opener toppled last year’s highest price by $250 to plant a firm smile on the Dirranbandi stud principal’s face for the remaining 79 single-pen auction rams as they all cleared.“She starts strong and you’ll finish strong,” Mr Wilson later commented.He was right.The sale held solid to average $1428.75 – a 12pc jump on last year.

Lot 23 saw the top price matched when Wee Waa producer Jim Hunt raised his card for $2400.

The ram measured 17.8 micron, held a standard deviation (SD) of 2.73, coefficient of variation (CV) of 15.34 and a comfort factor (CF) of 99.97.

Mr Hunt has been in the Merino game for 35 years at Elmore Spring Plains, north of Wee Waa, NSW.

He is down to 1000 Merino ewes after cutting back due to dry conditions and wasn’t present at last year’s sale.

Mr Hunt bought a total of six rams, cracking the $2000 mark four times, with the remaining two sliding in for a $1500 steal each.

“What they’ve put on today are the best I’ve seen,” Mr Hunt said.

He noted the “exceptional fleece” and yield as standouts for opting with the Wilgunya bloodline.

“The constitution of the ones I bought; [they’re] heavier boned, plenty of barrel and they have meat on them,” he added.

r0_381_4735_3044_w690_h388_fmaxRhett Butler, Yeranbah, Lightning Ridge, NSW, came back to reclaim the position of volume buyer with 10 rams – equalled by Ross Hindle of Hindle Grazing Co.

Mr Butler’s purchase averaged at $1560.

The buy completes Mr Butler’s goal of converting to 100pc auction-grade Wilgunya Merino rams, after picking up 17 last year and hauling 32 at the 2013 sale.

Other auction volume buyers included Paul Lamerand, Mulga Downs, Bollon, seven rams; David Harthog, Kyeema, Walgett, six rams; and the Schmidt family, Wallen Pastoral Co, Cunnamulla, six rams.

After another year of dry conditions Mr Wilson said he “wasn’t expecting” the sale to go as well as the one in 2014, which also cleared 80 single-pen auction rams; three post-auction.

“It’s a fantastic result and consistency. All of our clients are in the worst drought zones in Australia,” Mr Wilson said.

“It’s a reflection of their faith in the sheep industry.”

2015 – Dirranbandi’s Stella Show
Farmonline Article 13 April 2015
dirran-show-2015Wilgunya Merino Stud cleans up in the Stud Sheep at the Dirranbandi Show. Max, Heather and son Benn Wilson with their Grand Champion Housed Stud Merino Ram. Wilgunya also took home the Junior Champion Housed Stud Merino Ewe (two tooth), Grand Champion Housed Stud Merino Ewe and Breeders Group.  Champion Medium Wool Ram at Royal Adelaide Show beaten by another Wanganella ram by the same sire that they are retaining.

2013 – Wilgunya Merino Stud’s new purchases
October 2013
Wilgunya Merino Stud recently purchased Lot 2 at the annual Wanganella on property sale for $16,000.00The ram was sired by Wanganella 019 who is fast becoming a super sire.W0.019 was 2011 Champion medium wool March shorn ram at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show and later that year was Champion March shorn Ram at Royal Adelaide Show and 2011 Winner of Fibre Meat Plus Class at Royal Adelaide.Lot 2 was Reserve Champion Medium Wool Ram at Royal Adelaide Show beaten by another Wanganella ram by the same sire that they are retaining.Lot 2 weighed 116.5kg ,has a micron of 20.5, St Dev 2.8 and CV% 13.7 and comfort factor 99.8.The ram has a very sirey rich stud wool with very good thichness and purity that carries all the way down the leg.Wilgunya Merino Stud also purchased Lot 5 at the sale. A ram weighing 112.5kg and with a micron of 17.7 and St Dev 2.5 and CV% 14.1 and 99.8 comfort factor.This ram has a magnificent pearly white deep crimping wool again with tremendous thickness and purity.WiIgunya Stud Principal Max Wilson was very pleased coming home with the two best rams from the sale.

Earlier in the year Wilgunya also bought Lot 1 at the White River on property sale for $10,000.00

He is a son of Super Sire “Kaldoonera” crossed over a North Ashrose “Icing” ewe.

Lot 1 B2232 is considered to be one of the best rams ever sold by White River with a well nourished very good medium wool crimp and is superbly covered down the leg.

He was Elders Champion Hogget Ram of the year. This award has gone to White River 12 years in a row.

He weighed in at 136kg at sale being an April ’12 drop. He tested in at 18.7 micron, ST. Dev of 3.1, CV% 16.6 and comfort Factor of 99.9.

2013 – FSF Merino studs, Sept 19: $16,000 top
Weekly Times Article 19 September 2013
RAMS sold to strong demand from start to finish at the FSF Merino studs ram sale at Boonoke, Conargo today.

The 160 Wanganella, Poll Boonoke and Sims Uardry rams sold for a complete clearance to a top of $16,000 and an average of $1915.In the breakdown 60 Wanganella rams sold for an average of $2085, 60 Poll Boonoke rams averaged $1803 and 40 Sims Uardry rams made an average of $1830.

The $16

,000 ram was sold early in the sale to first-time clients Max and Heather Wilson of Wilgunya Merino stud at Dirranbandi, Queensland.A Wanganella ram, W.134, was sired by Wanganella 19, weighed 116.5kg, had a 20.3-micron and a comfort factor of 99.8 per cent.

Max Wilson said the ram’s sire had been “doing everything right” for FSF and he thought W.134 had a great chance of reproducing himself. He would be used as a stud sire at Wilgunya.

Buyers from Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and throughout NSW competed for rams, while a significant number of former Uardry Merino stud clients made purchases due to the Sims Uardry rams on offer which were bought at the Uardry dispersal by FSF.

2013 – Wanganella Merinos top at $16,000
Queensland Country Life Article 19 September 2013

CONFIDENCE in the Merino industry was evident at the F.S. Falkiner and Sons Wanganella and Poll Boonoke Merino studs auction at Conargo today where bidding rocketed to $16,000.Impressively all 160 stud rams offered were sold under the hammer, the consistent sales led to an overall sale average of $1915.

In the breakdown, all 60 Wanganella stud rams were sold for the sale top price of $16,000 for an average of $2085.

The draft of 60 Poll Boonoke rams sold to $7200 to average $1803, while the 60 Sims Uardry rams peaked at $7400 to average $1830.

It was interstate buyers that secured all the top priced rams, with Queensland Merino stud principals Max and Heather Wilson, Wilgunya stud, Dirranbandi, in partnership with Will and Narda Roberts, Victoria Downs stud, Morven, paying $16,000 for Wanganella W2.0134.

The ram weighed 116.5kg, had a fibre diametre of 20.5-micron, standard-deviation of 2.8, co-efficient if variation of 13.7, and comfort factor of 99.8.

The Wilson’s operating on behalf of fellow Queenslanders, the Brumpton family, Jolly Jumbuck Poll Merino stud, Mount Ascot, paid $7200 for Poll Boonoke ram PB2.011.

The Brumpton’s purchased the ram in partnership with the Roberts family, Victoria Downs stud.

The poll ram tipped the scales at a hefty 133.5kg, had a fibre diametre of 19.2-micron, SD of 2.9, CV of 15.1 and CF of 99.4.

South Australian commercial producer Gerald Mulligan, “Wyara”, Hilltown near Clare, paid $7400 for Sims Uardry ram 2.0004.

The ram weighed 113kg, had a fibre diametre of 20.3-micron, SD of 3.7, CV of 18.2, CF of 99.4.

For full sale coverage see The Land, September 26, 2013.

2013 – Ram Sale Averages of Auction Team
This year’s Ram Sale is fast approaching on Thursday 10th October, 2013.. We are set for another big day with impressive averages from the auction team.
Micron – 19.06um
CV Micron – 16.41%
Comfort Factor – 99.76%
Click here to download the 2013 auction team lot list.
2013 – White River offers some of its best yet
Stock Journal Article – Ian Turner
A BIG crowd, dominated by repeat clients, had a large selection of high-quality Merino and Poll Merino rams at the White River ram sale at Poochera last week.Clearly this was one of the best presentations by the Daniell family – in their 34th annual sale offering, and the fifth at Poochera.The 178 rams in the main auction were well-grown and rounded, reflecting the good season and mild winter in the area.In line with most of South Australia, Poll Merinos were in big demand. The Daniells offered a larger number of Polls for the first time.Other than the first 16 rams – five horns and 11 Polls – the offering was totally paddock-raised. The wool had some summer-autumn dust penetration but there was little difference in quality throughout the main auction.Buyers competed confidently in appreciation of this depth of quality, and 42 of the 50 registered bidders were successful. In a total clearance, the 178 rams in the main auction averaged $1831 while 17 more mini auction rams sold at a $647 average. Combined, the 195 rams averaged $1728.The sale started with White River’s recent Eyre Peninsula Ram of the Year winner – it was their 12th consecutive win in the prestigious competition.Arguably one of White River’s best rams, this 136-kilogram son of Kaldoonera went for a relative bargain at $10,000.With a hind-quarter most meat sheep breeds would be proud of and free-growing, highly defined and long-stapled fleece of 18.7 microns and 99.9 per cent comfort factor, this elite Merino sire was bought by Tony Wetherall, taking phone bids from the principals of Wilgunya Merinos, Dirranbandi, Queensland.

But the ram is not totally lost to SA as long-term White River clients, Bill and Paul Carey, Chandada, via Streaky Bay negotiated a share in the ram and were delighted to have access to such an outstanding sire for their highly productive flock.

White River is also retaining semen in the ram for its future breeding program.

At the very top of the Poll Merino buys was Nick Leinert, Oak Farms stud, Kimba, who paid the $5500 Poll Merino top price for a Ridgway Advance 133 son with 19.9M fleece and 99.7CF free-growing fleece.

By far the most important White River buyer was John Reynolds, Lairg Station, Elliston and operating through Elders Cummins agent Ben Dickenson. In the main auction, they bought 39 rams – 12 Merinos and 27 Poll Merinos – all at $800. In the mini auction that followed, they added another eight Merinos and six Poll Merinos, including the $1200 top price ram in that section of the sale.

Principals John and Wes Daniell were pleased with the overall result, especially because it gave Poll Merino buyers a greater selection at better value.

Elders were sale agents and Craig Shearer & Corey Friebel auctioneers.

2012 – Ram Sale Purchase Prices
The 2012 Ram Sale saw the average purchase prices increase from previous years.

  • The Single Ram selling average came in at $1751
  • The Pen Rams selling average came in at $958
  • Resulting in an overall selling average of $1465.
2012 – Auction Average Continues to Rise

Enthusiastic Sheep Breeders’ came from far and wide last Thursday to attend Wilgunya Merino Stud’s Annual Ram Sale on site at the property in Dirranbandi.

The auction conducted by combined agents Dirranbandi Pastoral, Elders and Landmark included 80 single rams, as well as 17 pens of three due to increased demand.

This year’s rams were particularly well grown, with many promising young sires with scale, richly nourished, bright soft handling wool.

Attendance was up and so were prices, with this year’s average for the 80 single pens coming in at $1751, a huge jump up nearly $200 from the 2011 average of $1554 for 70 single pens. The pens of 3 averaged at $958 and the overall auction average for the 131 lots was $1465.

The highest selling ram was lot 30, which was purchased for $3500 by David and Andrew Murray from Woodlawn Lightning Ridge. The ram had a micron of 18, C.V% 16.39 and 99.85% comfort factor.

Overall the auction was a huge success with a 100% clearance of all 131 lots.

Stud Principal Max Wilson was thrilled with the progress and results,

‘It is very pleasing that each year the sale team is better than the previous year, that our auction averages continue to rise and that we continue to win awards for our exhibits throughout the year. That can only give the buyer great confidence in our product.

‘In 2012 our stud won Qld best exhibit at Bendigo Sheep Show & Sale for the second time in a row. We also won awards in Goondiwindi, Tenterfield, Sydney, and Reserve Champion Ewes Fleece in Brisbane at the Ekka.’ Wilson said.

The Stud continues to capture new clients due to continued high standards in producing Merino Sheep, which can be put down to the right sire choices, introduction of new lines, hard work and long term experience in industry.

2012 – Ram Sale Averages of Auction Team


This year’s Ram Sale is fast approaching. We are set for another big day with impressive averages from the auction team.

Micron – 19.2um

CV Micron – 18.45%

Comfort Factor – 99.55%

2012 – Results
In 2012 Wilgunya won Qld best exhibit at Bendigo Sheep Show & Sale for the second time in a row.
We also won awards in Goondiwindi, Tenterfield, Sydney, and Reserve Champion Ewes Fleece in Brisbane at the Ekka. The fleece was an unhoused  and unfed ewes fleece shorn last January.
2011 – Merino Stud earns excellent results
Balonne Beacon Article

The Wilgunya Merino Stud achieved an excellent result last month at the annual Wilgunya Ram Sale.

Standing 70 rams at auction, conducted by combined agents Dirranabdi Pastoral, Elders and Landmark, a 100% clearance and a $1554 average was a very pleasing result for the Wilson family.

A top price of $3300 for Lot, 29, brought by David and Andrew Murray from Woodlawn Lightning Ridge was the highlight. The ram had a micron of 18.4, C.V% 15.82 and 100% comfort factor.

The sale was very solid throughout with 57 rams selling for $1000 or better and broke through the $3000 barrier four times.

Buyers came from Goondiwindi, Walgett, Wee Waa, Lightning Rigge, Collarenebri, Brewarrina, Cunnamulla, Longreach and locally.

2011 -Wool, meat demand high
Balonne Beacon Article 
The annual Wilgunya Merino Stud ram sale is on Thursday, October 13 with 70 rams being presented at the auction.
“What a great year for the merino breeder”, Max Wilson from Wilgunya Merino Stud said.
“Prices have been excellent for both excess breeders and wethers, along with a fairly strong wool market”.
Mr Wilson said Australians are eating lamb and mutton faster than breeders can breed them.
“Between four to 10 lambs on the ground is paying for your purchase. A five or six times and upwards return on outlay”, Mr Wilson said.
“If the season would go with us there are real opportunities”.
Mr Wilson said in January they sold CFA ewes for $140 and cull two tooths for $160 with early southern sales seeing good Merino ewes selling for $200 plus and ram sales over the $2000 average.
“The year has been hard at Wilgunya for sheep, but with a recent reprieve in the season the rams will present reasonably well though not as well grown in past years but still displaying exceptional body length in the better rams.
“The wool is a degree better than last year’s draft displaying good lift off the skin. Everybody that has seen this year’s draft has commented on the overall quality.
“In the show ring we won Grand Champion ewe at Dirranbandi and Cunnamulla, and got Champion Merino Medium Wool Ram and Reserve Grand Champion Ram at Roma Show. The ram came third in the Championship at the State Sheep Show in Charleville.”
Inspections from 10am and the sale will commence at 1.30pm.
2011 – Dirranbandi Fleeces Take Bendigo Award
Queensland Country Life Article 

Dirranbandi wool growers Max and Benn Wilson continued on their winning way at the 2011 Australian Fleece Competition in Bendigo last weekend.

The Wilsons’ Wilgunya Merino Stud won the Queensland Champion Fleece Competition and was placed 5th and 6th in a class of 25 in the 17.6 – 18.5 micron range.
Another Wilgunya entry scored 7th out of 23 entries in the 18.6 – 19.5 micron section and in the 19.6 – 20.5 micron section.
 Wilgunya Merino Stud was placed 1st and 3rd of 19 exhibits.
2011 – Wool Prized In Tough Days
Queensland Country Life Article
2010 – Averages of Auction Team
Wilgunya Results

70 Rams were sold at auction on the 14 October 2010.

The averages of the auction team were most impressive, and were as follows –

Micron 17.47um
CV Micron 16.10%
Comfort Factor 99.92%

2004 – MERINO studs across Southern QLD
QCL Farm Online
MERINO studs across southern Queensland have been a hive of activity in recent weeks.On-property ram sales and private inspections have been in full swing as commercial producers seek to replenish ram supplies ahead of the annual joining period, normally in February for a spring lambing.With lambs just hitting the ground this spring there are signs that some regions will receive their first decent lamb marking rates for at least three years, provided conditions improve to more favourable levels this summer.Rams with big frames and heavy fleeces have been in strongest demand this year, reflecting a market shift away from fine micron premiums and towards stronger returns from sheepmeat markets.Queensland Country Life’s Rod Green captured these pictures at two recent sales, Max Wilson’s Wilgunya ram sale at Dirranbandi and Scott and Ian McColl’s Umbercollie sale at Goondiwindi.
2004 – Wilgunya Rams to $1000
Queensland Country Life Article
DESPITE rating this year’s crop of rams his best yet, Wilgunya Merino stud principal Max Wilson knew seasonal and industry factors were always going to make it tough to sell rams at his annual on-property sale at Dirranbandi last week.But despite a backdrop of tumbling wool prices, softening sheep sales and widespread talk of another El Nino, bidding from several repeat southern clients ensured the result was solid, with 64 of the 79 rams offered finding buyers for an average price of $560 a head.St George woolgrower Ian Dries, Thomby, who bought the $1000 top-priced ram, has been sold on Wilgunya bloodlines ever since he tried the stud’s rams four years ago. “Since then my fleece weights are up by 1.5kg and the quality (of the wool) has sky-rocketed,” he said.Under his classing program Mr Dries aims to maintain his flock’s micron average at 20.5 and improve style and fleece weights. He identified five rams ideally suited to that aim and paid the sale’s highest prices to achieve them, paying an average price of $810 per ram.He paid the $1000 top price for a 20.8 micron ram with a coefficient of variation of just 12.4 and a comfort factor measurement 99.6.
2000 – Wilgunya looks beyond microns
Queensland Country Life Article
WITH prices like 1110c/kg for 18.1 micron wool from two-tooth wethers and 750c/kg for 19.6 micron four-tooth wether wool, the Wilson family of Wilgunya Stud, Dirranbandi, might be expected to trumpet the glory of low microns all over the country.No so, says Max Wilson who puts it on the line that there’s far more to satisfying modern quality wool requirements and making an ultimate profit than fine wool alone. The key factor, says Max Wilson, is good follicle density, and the means of identifying it in sheep.Current wool test results of side samples at Wilgunya showed the average micron of adult sires to be joined in the stud next year to be 19.92 microns. What’s more, 85 pc of these rams met Elite wool specifications of micron and fibre curvature.In his May shearing of four-tooth wethers and June/July shearing of two-tooths, Mr Wilson selected elite lines by visual means, but intends to engage a commercial laser scanner before the general shearing. Selection of these elite lines certainly paid off in higher prices, with the low micron Elite Wilguna wool going to Italian mills as well as the Woolaby fabric company.

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