Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
Making More from Sheep

Making More From Sheep

1. News:

Shearer training

Australian Wool Innovation has committed $835,000 for this financial year to implement a national shearer and wool handler training program. To the end of February 1001 shearers and 492 wool handlers have been through training prorgrams, along with 44 people attending crutching schools. 
While activities are obviously well underway, there are still some opportunities for aspiring novice or improver shearers and wool handlers to be involved. Click here for a brochure on training opportunities in Victoria or visit the AWI Shearer training arrangements webpage for contact details for other states.

Manual Sale

The hardcopy version of the Making More From Sheep manual is now available at the sale price of $50 to MLA members and wool levy payers. The manual contains the 11 Making More From Sheepmodules, the quick quiz to identify where you are in relation to industry best practice, the Lambing Planner and the MLA Pasture Ruler. Each module is seperately bound, so it can be taken out of the folder for reading in your favourite place.
It is unlikely that there will be a reprint of the hardcopy, so you'll need to act quickly to get your hands on one. The CD and web version are currently being updated with the main changes being to web links for additional resources. Purchasers of the hardcopy manual will subsequently be sent an updated electronic version of the manual on CD when available. Click here to download an order form.

2. R & D Update:

Phosphorus: the current global situation, P-efficiency in Australian agriculture and the threats and opportunities for grazing businesses.

What is the state of global phosphorus reserves and when is peak P likely to occur? How can we make more efficient use of phosphorous in Australian agriculture? To what extent can best practice management and research into p-efficient farming systems help? For a discussion of these issues click through to a paper presented by Dr Richard Simpson from the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, at the recent MLA and AWI insights Forum.

3. In Brief:

Pregnancy scanning of ewes

Scanning is used to identify multiple pregnancies to better manage twin bearing ewes and to identify and remove empty ewes. Careful consideration needs to be made of the costs and benefits of pregnancy scanning to achieve a management and economic gain. Benefits will differ with season, reproductive rate of the flock and how scanned ewes are managed. Industry estimates are that over 100 contractors are now scanning almost 40% of the national ewe flock. Scanning is best done between 80 to 100 days after removal of the rams from concise joining period. See tool 10.7 in the Making More From Sheep manual for a discussion of some of the benefits and disadvantages of scanning, or visit the Sheep CRC website Pregnancy Scanning pagesfor more detailed resources, including contractor contact details.

Valuing Genetic merit for growth rate

Whether you are aiming to join ewe lambs or reach a target market weight, growth rate of lambs is a key profit driver in a sheep meat business. One of the ways to influence growth rate is to select rams with high Australian Sheep Breding Values (ASBV) for post weaning weight (PWWT). The value of improved growth rate from selecting rams with high post weaning weight ASBV can be calculated using a simple tool available in the Making More From Sheep manual (tool 9.9). By being familiar with this tool you will be in a better position to determine the dollar value in selecting rams with a high PWWT ASBV. A similar tool is available for wool producers who want to value genetic merit for fleece weight. (tool 9.8).

4. Coming Events

Over 5000 sheep producers have attended events on various Making More from Sheep modules. These events may be small workshops, large seminars or webinars (a seminar that you attend on your computer and phone without leaving home). The one thing these events all have in common is that after participating you will be able to implement at least one of the management practices or tools from the Making More From Sheep manual on your property. Examples of coming events include:
-Feeding sheep for profit on Monday, April 4th at Northampton, WA
-Fly and Lice Workshop on Friday, April 8th at Burrumbuttock, NSW
-Worm control on the Lower Eyre Peninsula on Tuesday,April 12th at Wanilla, SA
See the events page on the website for more details.


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