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STARTING a sheep stud with no prior knowledge of ovines would be a difficult task for most - but the decision to diversify into Dorpers has paid off for Lindsay and Kaye Knight, Meridian View, Merbein West, Vic.

The couple made the switch to sheep on their small 6-hectare dried fruit block 14 years ago after a long period of extended drought. Their on-farm income is now a 50:50 split between Dorpers and dried fruit.

A tough South African breed, the Dorper was chosen because it was a "very hardy sheep", according to Kaye.

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