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The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's South Island wool procurement manager Rob Cochrane, to discuss the New Zealand wool market.

Rob Cochrane says in his "40-something years" of dealing in wool, the 2018/19 season has been one of the more challenging. In fact - he hasn't seen anything quite like it.

"I don't think we've ever seen a tougher season ... it's been a really, really tough show, that's for sure".


Mackay asked if there was a "light at the end of the tunnel" for the industry, and referred to an interview with Pāmu chief executive Steve Carden about using wool for housing insulation.

Despite the pros out weighing the cons for wool insulation, Cochrane noted this could be down to the cost of installing the wool, rather than the cost of wool itself.

There is still a lot of research going in to wool and its alternate uses and Cochrane said he was confident more good will come for alternate wool products, which will boost its value as a sustainable and renewable resource.

Mackay mentioned the increase of farmer's awareness of fining up their wool clips, as, although it is not always practical, it may be an area farmers need to move into to maintain a quality product and finer micron.

A few growers were considering a shift in breeding to compensate for better micron, despite the dangers of maintaining consistency said Cochrane.

Also in today's interview: Mackay and Cochrane discuss the potential success of the 2019/20 season, with wool showing less discolouration already.

Listen below: