Comment: The wool industry has enough to worry about without dealing with sheep-marking sprays staining product, writes Federated Farmers Meat and Wool chair Miles Anderson.

We really didn't think things could get worse with the crossbred wool industry, but alas, here we go.

Welcome to the next edition of what the heck is going on?

An issue has been identified where "spray" used to mark sheep, is not scouring out.


The exact cause of this is unknown, however, the Feds have received anecdotal accounts of people using a product that is not registered or designed for use on wool.

We've also heard of other examples where products which were previously suitable are no longer up to the job.

Federated Farmers Meat and Wool chair Miles Anderson. Photo / Supplied
Federated Farmers Meat and Wool chair Miles Anderson. Photo / Supplied

Surely this is a joke

"Are you serious?"

This was the question I put to the wool buyer who informed me that there were sprays being used on wool that retain dye in the fibres. These cannot be scoured out and render the clip worthless.

It's rubbish getting paid $1.60 a kilo for your wool, but worse is getting nothing at all.

This is what is happening to dozens of bales which have been found to have inferior dye product in them that can't be scoured out.

Keeping in mind these bales are receiving no bids at auction and are being returned to the farmer.


"Just take it out" is the message I want to get out there - regardless of the price of wool - care needs to be taken to prepare your wool clip and receive the most you can for the product.

No-one can say exactly which products are causing the issue, so we need to take out any wool with dye on it and throw it in with the dags.

So, what now?

Federated Farmers is working with industry to sort the problem but in the meantime put it on the garden - it's a great product - one that can mulch and fertilise at the same time, good for the garden, good for the remaining saleable wool clip and one less thing to worry about.