| 39 ‘Cutest sheep in the world’ make their debut Hayden Peters with his Beltex and Valais Black Nose lambs. Karen Phelps S outhern Southland stud farmer Hayden Peter likes to try new things. Three years ago he introduced Beltex into his Greeline stud and this year what he terms “the cutest sheep in the world” have made their debut. With their fluffy wool and distinctive black markings it would be hard to disagree that Valais Black Nose are certainly an attractive breed. Hayden purchased 12 embryos from the UK on a whim when importing other embryos and now has three ewe lambs and four ram lambs plus eight lambs born in August 2021. He thinks he is one of only a few commercial farmers with the breed in its flock and has his sights set on the lifestyle market where he says the breed commands good prices. He plans to embryo flush his Valais black nose next year to build up numbers. His small but growing Beltex flock is also developing with the third crop of lambs just hitting the ground. Hayden imported 100 embryos and a number of semen straws out of the UK this year and is just one of three New Zealand breeders breeding Beltex. He has 60 lambs on the ground. Originating from Belgium, Beltex is the first new breed to land in New Zealand in nearly a decade, and has been brought into the country by Jock Allison, John Tavendale, and Blair Gallagher from Beltex New Zealand. It’s the ability to produce increased muscling and the dressing out percentage that attracted Hayden to the breed. Although it’s early days he says that he is already noticing a significant differ- ence compared with other breeds in New Zealand and is aiming to build up numbers in his stud to around 100 ewes over the next two years. Hayden, 39, is a third generation farmer. He started farming full time in 2015 after studying at Lincoln University. MEAT & WOOL » Greeline Stud: Hayden Peter The farm is a mix of owned and leased blocks and totals 780ha running 6000 ewes including 1000 stud ewes. The cattle aspect of the operation includes 100 beef cattle plus winter grazing dairy cows and heifer grazing. Hayden purchased Greeline in 2012 off Kerry Dunlop and has since added Suftex and Beltex to the stud, which has built its reputation on the Greeline composite comprised of ¼ east friesian, 3/8 texel, and 3/8 coopworth. As a breeder Hayden is always thinking ahead. At present this includes measuring methane emis- sions from his stud sheep. “There is a lot of pressure on farmers to look after the environment and this is part of being proactive. It will give a baseline so I can see as a breeder how genetics can play a role in lowering emissions,” he says. Other things he is trialling include improving eating quality of the meat and noting traceability is an area of increasing importance and where he sees farmers can add value. He is also focusing on lowering the micron of his wool from 34 to under 30 in order to obtain a premium. The UK is also benefitting from Greeline genet- ics. UK breeder Robyn Hulme, who was looking to develop a maternal breed there took back a Greeline composite ram three years ago and has returned for another this year. Hayden says Robyn is targeting an easy care high producing composite and obviously Greeline is delivering results. For New Zealand breeders wanting to get their hands on Greeline’s latest genetics the stud will offer the first of its beltex and valais black nose at the Waimumu Field Days in February. It is obvious Hayden is not afraid to think outside the square and he says diversification is his key to success. His dynamic business model also includes off farm investments: he co-owns Fortrose Café with his partner Emily Butters along with Airbnb accommodation, also in Fortrose. “There is a lot of pressure on farmers to look after the environment and this is part of being proactive. It will give a baseline so I can see as a breeder how genetics can play a role in lowering emissions.” The Animal Health Professionals Kennington Clinic 11 Clapham Road, Kennington Ph (03) 230 4689 Edendale Clinic 14 Sweeney Street, Edendale Ph (03) 206 6170 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE Proud to Supply Veterinary Services & Animal Remedies for Hayden Peter Greeline 396/16 is in 2021 CPT Hub site STRATHALLAN RUN GENETICS (Formerly known as Greeline Genetics) Home of Maternal and Terminal Sires - Greeline CoopTex Suftex Beltex and now home to Valais Blacknose Genetics PROVIDING GENETICS EQUAL TO THE BEST IN NEW ZEALAND Hayden Peter | firstname.lastname@example.org | (027) 201 7312 Visit me on the farm in Wyndham PrecisionDirect Drilling Ltd We are operating the only, purpose built, zero tillage, precision planter in the South Island. Featuring full gps guidance and machine control to provide the most accurate spacing, individual row shut o and hydraulic down force for constant seed depth. 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