Local producers interested in marketing their wool through local wool pools will have the opportunity to do so through Mid-States Wool Growers Cooperative Association based in Canal Winchester, Ohio. Producers are encouraged to package, handle and store their wool in an appropriate manner in order to maximize the value of their wool clip. Wool should be packaged by type and grade (ewe vs. lamb wool, long staple vs. short wools, fine vs. medium wools) in plastic bags, and be clean, dry, and have foreign material (straw, mud, manure) removed prior to packaging. Following is the local pool delivery date, and location where wool will be picked up:
July 14 Clermont Farm, Berryville from 8am-11:30 am ***Collection point Change****
Address: 801 East Main Street, Berryville, VA 22611. From Route 7 Take the East Business 7 exit (Across from Audley Farm) toward Berryville. First drive on left. Follow road right then to barn.
For more information regarding specifics contact Corey Childs at 540-635-4549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a limited number of wool bags available in the Warren County office. Call ahead for availability 540-635-4549.
Wool to be sorted and graded in Ohio, and priced according to grade.
Proper Wool Handling
Proper harvesting, packaging, and storage of the wool is important to realize the full value of the wool clip. Since wool sales represent a very small portion of the gross returns for most sheep enterprise, wholesale changes to the genetics of the flock to improve fiber diameter and fleece weight are likely not justified for most Mid-Atlantic producers. However, there are several important steps that should be considered to maximize the value of the wool clip:
A. Minimize Contamination:
1. Keep shearing area clean and free of straw/hay and other potential sources of contamination.
2. Avoid use of plastic baler twine in sheep operation that may contaminate fleeces (this contamination occurs throughout the year, not just at shearing time).
B. Use Proper Packaging Material:
1. Do not use plastic feed sacks to store or package wool.
2. Plastic film bags are available and preferred. Points to consider with plastic film bags:
a. Sheep need to be dry when sheared. Plastic bags will not breathe as well as jute bags (more possibility for wool to mold and rot).
b. Plastic film bags will tear easier when handled.
c. Tie plastic film bags shut in similar manner to jute bags.
3. Store wool in dry place, avoid cement or dirt floors to prevent moisture uptake.
C. Sort Wool at Shearing Time
1. Shear white-face sheep first, blackface sheep last to avoid contamination of white-faced wool with black fibers.
2. Package lamb and ewe wool separate.
3. Remove tags at shearing and discard.
4. Sort belly wool and bag separately. Also sort wool caps and leg wool out if justified.
5. Off-type fleeces (black, high vegetable matter, etc.) as well as belly wool should be shorn last. They can be packed alone or along with clean wool. If you choose to pack together the off type wool should be packaged first in a small plastic garbage bag or paper sack. The small bag may then be added to the large polyethylene film bag. The small bag serves to keep these wools separate and prevents them from contaminating other fleeces already packaged, and results in a more uniform lot of wool.
6. Do not tie wool with paper twine.
Mid-States plans to have wool bags for sale at the pools.
Please let me know if you have questions.
C. Corey Childs
Unit Coordinator - Agriculture Extension Agent
Warren County Extension Unit
220 N. Commerce Avenue
Front Royal, Virginia 22630