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

Making More From Sheep

1. News:

MLA Sheep Industry Projections mid-year update

The combination of price and good seasons that have driven expansion in the Australian lamb and sheep industry over the last two years have eased during the first half of 2012, as additional lambs and softer export conditions bring prices back from historically high levels. Despite the lamb price fall, overall returns for slaughter lamb producers in 2012 and 2013 should continue to be favourable, underpinned by reasonable prices and higher turnoff rates.

Overall Australian lamb exports in 2012 are projected to increase 11.2% to 178,000 tonnes swt, and a further 3% in 2013. Export values look set to remain stable or decline modestly, as the high A$, subdued global demand and increased competition from New Zealand impacts on returns for Australian exporters.

For further details on supply and demand factors click the following link to the MLA sheep industry projections mid-year update.

WoolPoll 2012

Woolgrowers are encouraged to vote when WoolPoll 2012 opens later this month. WoolPoll, which opens on 21st September, gives all eligible wool levy payers the opportunity to have a say in the future of their industry by voting for their preferred levy rate to apply for the next three years. Eligible woolgrowers will recieve their Voter Information Kit by the time the vote opens. Everything you need to know about the vote is now online at

2. R & D Update:

Teenage Merino Mums

A three year study in Victoria looking at the feabibility of lambing Merinos as one-year-olds is near completion. The research, undertaken by James Whale from Mike Stevens & Associates, has involved two on-farm trials, pasture modelling and economic analysis. The research has set out to answer three main questions:
1. What is the reproductive potential of the Australian Merino when managed to lamb as 1-year-olds in natural breeding programs?
2. What additional feed resources will be required to manage ewes in 1-year-old lambing systems according to best-practice liveweight profiles?
3. Considering the additional management costs what production/price scenarios are necessary for 1-year-old lambing systems to be more profitable than conventional breeding?

Click the following link for a summary of the results and associated management recommendations.

James Whale and Will Hooke with one of the trial mobs on Will’s property at Serpentine, Vic.

3. In Brief:

Dingos or wild dogs?

A recent study conducted by Danielle Stevens investigated interbreeding between wild dogs and dingos and the impact on characteristics such as body size, pack structure and prey preference. The research also examined the extent of hybridisation between dogs and dingos in different parts of the country. A summary of the study, published in the WA Department of Agriculture and Food Rangeland Memo (2 MB) can be downloaded by clicking this link. The memo also contains an article on using racks for preparing dried meat baits. It should be noted that baiting regulations vary between states and local information should be sought from the relevant authority.

Succession Planning workshops in South Australia

Participants from seven family businesses gathered at Clare, SA on September 7th for the Introduction to Succession Planning workshop delivered by Taryn Baker, Rural Directions Pty Ltd. Participants had varied experiences in their succession planning journey to-date and all were there to "get the ball rolling" for themselves and their families. Participants worked through all aspects of the development of a succession plan. Topics included why plan for succession; how to transition from one generation to another; financial implications and implementing the plan. The workshop provided clear direction for the first steps in what is an on-going process.

The workshop was co-funded by Making More from Sheep and More Beef from Pastures. For further information contact Natasha Morley, SA Making More from Sheep Coordinator on 08 8841 4500 or

Taryn Baker, Rural Directions Pty Ltd explaining the Strategic Planning Process to participants at Clare, SA.

4. Coming Events

Making More from Sheep runs a range of events mostly aimed at small groups/audiences of sheep producers looking to improve skills and knowledge on a topic of local interest. State Coordinators are available to organise events and presenters to suit local needs and are keen to work with groups, facilitators or service providers for single events or a series of activities. For further information contact your state coordinator.

Examples of coming events include:
Leasing and sharefarming from both sides of the fence - 25th Sept. Freeling, SA
Bredwell Fedwell - 3rd Oct. Mortlake, Vic
Mitchell Grass Management - 17th Oct. Augathella, Qld

See the Making More from Sheep events page on the website for more details and additional events.