News

Happenings On The Merrydowns Farm


ARTICLE: Young Breeder Goes Back To The Future

Posted: 05 November 2016

Article by Nicole Sharp, published in the Gore Ensign, 3 August 2016, Page 43

Jack Robertson is wise beyond his years when it comes to breeding stud Romneys.

The 13-year-old Blue Mountain College pupil is a fifth-generation breeder, who started his own stud, Merryvale, last year.

Merryvale was the name of the original family stud that was started in 1920.

The stud name had been discarded by previous owners who had bought it from the family, but last year, Jack’s parents Blair and Sally went to the Romney council to get permission to use it again.

Jack said he enjoyed being around sheep, so when he was given the opportunity to start his own stud, it was an offer to good to refuse.

“I wanted some sheep to look after and to breed from there . . . I like Romneys. They have good mothering ability and they have lots of lambs.”

Last year, the Merryvale stud had its first lot of lambs, which run on the 397ha family farm at Waikoikoi.

Jack said there was a range of traits he looked for in his Romneys, but the main three were good constitution, good bone and good wool.

He started the stud with some ewes from Mr Robertson’s Merrydowns stud and buying five of Dave Wylie’s top ewes and four ewe lambs.

The ewes performed well, as Jack recorded a 165% lambing percentage last year, with 73 ewes and 73 lambs.

“I beat Dad by 5%,” he said.

He only had 30 ewe lambs left and 11 ram lambs, as a lot had been sent to the works.

“I do like culling as well.”

Jack’s process when it comes to selecting his breeding ewes and rams to sell, includes making sure there is no colour in the wool, they have good feet, are clean shearing and have long, strong wool.

“They’re very good to handle and are good natured stock with their lambs.”

The lambs that made it through Jack’s two cullings were to top of his flock, some were exhibited at the Gore A & P Show earlier this year.

The Robertsons attend the Gore Show each year, and Jack has already had his goals set for the next show.

“I want to beat Trevor McCall in all the breeds,” he said.

His future goal for the Merryvale stud was to keep growing the size of his flock and to sell all of his rams at the onfarm sale this year.

“I’d like a few more ram lambs to sell, and to get them big and strong . . . I’m lucky Dad has helped me quite a lot along the way, giving me a few ewes and using three of his rams last year.”

When he was not in the sheep paddock, he was on the rugby field for the Heriot-Tapanui combined team.

Jack was also named in the South-West under 65kg representative team this year.

“I also like shooting, claybird shooting and .22 shooting.”

Big boys . . . Jack Robertson looks over some of the Merryvale and Merrydowns rams in the paddock, gearing up for his first ram sale this year. PHOTO: Nicole Sharp

Stocking up . . . Some of Jack Robertson’s Merryvale stud ewe lambs with some of this father’s Merrydowns stud ewe lambs, on crop on the Waikoikoi property.


Annual ON FARM RAM SALE 2016

Posted: 05 November 2016

8th Annual ON FARM RAM SALE

Tuesday 29th November 2016

Inspection from 10am - Sale starts 1pm.
213 Romney and Southdown Rams will be offered for sale.

OPEN DAY - TUESDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 10am - 4pm

Click here to view our 2016 catalogue


ARTICLE: Higher crossbred wool prices on horizon

Posted: 26 November 2015

PHOTO: Romney stud breeder Blair Robertson, left, PGG Wrightson wool representative Jared Manihera and PGG Wrightson North Canterbury Marlborough wool representative Peter McCusker look at the wool quality of stud romney rams. 
(Photo courtesy of  Diane Bishop)

The pendulum is swinging back to higher crossbred wool prices.
Industry pundits expect prices will continue to rise as the drop in sheep numbers puts more pressure on wool supply.

CLICK HERE to read the full article published in the Otago Southland Farmer, 24 November 2015


Annual Application of Mainland Minerals at Merrydowns

Posted: 06 November 2015

Annual application of Mainland Minerals went on in August 2015, applied by Lister Helicopters.  We have exclusively been using Mainland Minerals for 15 years.  Mainland Minerals provide an exceptional, cost effective product that consistently improves our bottom line.


Purpan University Students Study at Merrydowns

Posted: 04 November 2015

The Robertson Family with Alexia, a french agricultural student from Purpan University in Toulouse, France. Alexia worked/studied at Merrydowns for three months this year to fulfill a practical component of her course. 2015 is the third year Merrydowns
have hosted students from Purpan University.


Hokonui Tertiary High Students Visit Merrydowns

Posted: 04 November 2015

Pictured above: Blair teaches Hokonui Tertiary High Students, studying Introductory Skills in Agriculture and Animal Care, about stock judging at Merrydowns, July 2014


Merrydowns Sell Rams to Uruguay

Posted: 03 November 2015

Above: The 3 Merrydowns Romney Rams exported to Uruguay in November 2014.
To read more click here