Saturday, June 21, 2008

Smallest wool pool ever

David Greene (L) shows Jennie Dorrell how to grade woolThe 2008 Maryland Wool Pool was held on Thursday, June 18. Sixty-eight (68) consigners brought 27,704 lbs. of wool to the Maryland State Fairgrounds, the lowest amount ever. Last year's pool handled 35,000 lbs from 71 consigners.

The breakdown of the wool clip was 911 lbs. of choice white-face wool, 12,893 lbs. of medium white-face wool, 814 lbs. of coarse white-face wool, 5,490 lbs. of non-white face wool, and 7,596 lbs. of short wool. 9,920 lbs. of wool came to the pool already baled. This wool received a 5 cent bonus.

Many reasons can be cited for the decline in the Maryland Wool Pool:
  • Low wool prices, though this year's prices were higher than last year's.
  • A wet spring. Many sheep are still not sheared.
  • High fuel costs. Transportation costs are high, especially for small growers.
  • An increase in direct marketing of wool and wool products
  • More hair sheep being raised. Hair sheep do not produce wool or require shearing.
The Maryland Wool Pool is held every June. For information about the pool, contact manager Rich Barczewski at