Shearing preparations, tips for harvesting and packing wool

Produced in partnership with Teagasc, our short sheep shearing videos outline tips, techniques and conditions for farmers when shearing to ensure the best possible presentation and value for wool.

Preparing for Shearing

David Heraty, sheep farmer and shearing contractor outlines the key preparations for shearing to retain value in the fleece.

David Heraty is a sheep farmer and shearing contractor based out of Mayo, who also works as a tutor, teaching agriculture for Mayo Education Training Board. He is a founding member of the newly formed Emerald Romney Sheep Group and a member of the Irish Sheep Shearing Association. David is a member of the Irish Grown Wool Council’s ‘Wool Quality & Presentation’ Working Group. His main aim of being part of the Irish Grown Wool Council is to help promote the quality and presentation of wool through education with the end goal of improving the payment the farmer receives for their wool.

Top tips on how to harvest wool at shearing time

Jayne Harkness-Bones shares tips for harvesting wool and demonstrates simple techniques for rolling fleeces for packing.

Jayne Harkness-Bones works as Joint Depot Manager for Ulster Wool (a joint venture with British Wool) in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Jayne was born into the farming industry and is a seventh generation farmer on her family’s farm. She’s also represented Northern Ireland at 8 Golden Shearers World Championships spanning 20 years experience as a competitive wool handler, making world semi-finals, and more closer to home has won the All Ireland Wool Handling Championships on numerous occasions, in addition to National Champion at Balmoral Show and making finals across the UK & Europe. She is a member of The Worshipful Company of Woolmen and a freeman of the City of London. Jayne is a member of the Irish Grown Wool Council’s ‘Wool Quality & Presentation’ Working Group.

OviCast is the Teagasc Sheep podcast. Presented by Ciaran Lynch it brings you the latest advice, insights and technical updates for the sheep industry. On 11th June 2024 Jayne Harkness-Bones, Depot Manager with Ulster Wool, joined Ciaran to discuss the factors that influence the quality of wool, the challenges in the marketplace in recent years and what happens to the wool from purchase until it reaches market. They talk about shearing, wool handling and storage, with Jayne highlighting some simple practices to make the process easier and improve the quality of the wool harvested.
In the latter half of the podcast, Jayne who is also a council member of the Irish Grown Wool Council, discusses some of the work the IGWC have been involved in to realise the potential of wool, develop further opportunities and provide support to the industry.

About Irish Grown Wool Council

The Irish Grown Wool Council (IGWC) is a voluntary body with an all island approach. Its purpose is to promote an Irish grown wool brand both domestically and internationally. IGWC is creating, developing and overseeing structures designed to bring disparate groups together for collaboration, innovation and scaling activities to advance the standard and develop markets for Irish grown wool.

IGWC Vision:
  • Bringing wool stakeholders across the island of Ireland to realise the potential of wool as a natural, sustainable and versatile material.
  • Building on wool’s rich heritage to enhance understanding and appreciation of the characteristics of Irish ‘grown’ wool.
  • Facilitating collaboration in product / market research and ultimately applying innovative product solutions to address current challenges and create future opportunities.

    IGWC Aims Include:
  • Establish an All-Island Irish “Grown” Wool Council to promote the brand
  • Collaborate with a Wool Research Innovation Hub for innovation with wool
  • Develop an Irish Grown Wool standard and ensure traceability from farm to needle regardless of where scoured
  • Encourage Better Awareness and Training on Wool Handling and Presentation. Re-instate traditional wool handling and presentation standards training programmes for primary producers, shearers, merchants and graders

About Teagasc

Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities. The organisation is funded by State Grant-in-Aid; the National Development Plan; fees for research, advisory and training services; income from national and EU competitive research programmes; and revenue from farming activities and commodity levies.

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