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A new way to class the clip



                              Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, Dr Ronald Pope, San Angelo, United States, running a wool sample on the FibreLux Micron Meter. Photo: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

AUSTRALIAN woolgrowers now have access to a hand-held, real-time tool to measure their wool micron diameter on-farm.

The portable device - the FibreLux Micron Meter - is set to revolutionise the way Australian woolgrowers class their clip at shearing, particularly commercial producers.

In technical terms, the FibreLux is an opto-electronic instrument which uses the diffraction of light to calculate the diameter of fine and medium wool.

It's a robust portable unit about the size of a loaf of bread, designed for use in the paddock or the shearing shed.



Nekan Trading director, Johan Joubert, South Africa, who manufactures and distributes the FibreLux, said it was suited for use by commercial growers, stud producers, and industry consultants, with sample preparation able to be completed in under a minute.

"The FibreLux gives the grower an opportunity to make decisions immediately and also improve the uniformity of the classing of the wool in a bale, which may lead to increased prices obtained by the grower," Mr Joubert said.

The cost of the FibreLux (delivered to Australia) is between US$2000 and US$2100 - much cheaper than the larger fibre testing unit, the OFDA2000, which costs about $75,000.

Mr Joubert said FibreLux was mostly sought after by commercial growers as it assisted them with wool classing in the shearing shed, for breeding selection and flock improvement.

"That's why it was important to be able to do the sample preparation and measurement all in under a minute, as it allows the classing of the wool in the shed without slowing down the process," he said.

"Stud producers use the FibreLux when they have a need to get fast answers regarding the fibre diameter for their sheep, but we find they are interested in other measurements, such as comfort factor, which the FibreLux does not measure at present," he said.

Source: The Land
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