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

1. News:

Southern Livestock Adaptation

Findings of the three year Southern Livestock Adaptation program are available on a new website ( ). The program looked at a range of climate scenarios and their impact on farm profitability and productivity at various locations. An interactive map identifies the locations where modelling was undertaken allowing the user to drill down into results for the different areas. Information about the models used and farm management adaptations are also included.

Novel technologies for flystrike prevention

Early trials of two technologies currently used to treat human conditions warrant further research as potential flystrike prevention alternatives according to Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).

Liquid Nitrogen has shown a proof of concept with the technology demonstrating the potential to reduce wrinkle scores and increase bare area on both the tail and breech of treated animals, with minimal welfare impacts. A study using laser treatment to potentially remove wool from around the breech and tail has not yet demonstrated a proof of concept but warrants further investigation. For further information click here.

Flystrike prevention is AWI's top research priority. Since 2005, AWI has invested $45 million in animal health and welfare research, development and extension (RD&E), including over $26 million on flystrike prevention. The AWI Managing Breech

Flystrike Manual is available at or by phoning the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099

MLA Sheep Projections

MLA has released a mid-year update of it's Australian Sheep Industry Projections 2013. The update includes forecasts for:

- A positive remainder of the year due to improving seasonal conditions and a weaker A$.
- Record export volumes are likely to continue with 51.5% of lamb produced in 2013 to be exported.
- The forecast for live sheep export remains at two million head, down 12% on 2012 due to the suspension of trade to Bahrain.

Download the 2013 mid-year projections here (pdf 0.35MB).

Next generation takes up the National Merino Challenge

More than 60 students from 10 schools, colleges, universities and TAFEs from across Australia met for the inaugural National Merino Challenge (NMC) at Dubbo in early August. An AWI initiative, the NMC involves presentations and demonstrations from industry professionals to allow young people to develop their industry knowledge, skills and networks. Students participated in seven 'mini-challenges' across two days, testing their knowledge of Merino fleece, production and breeding and selection. The mini challenges included AWEX typing, wool valuing, visual score assessment, condition scoring, nutrition and feed budgeting, ewe selection and ram selection. To find out more, including winners and participating organisations, click here..

Photo: Students participating in the NMC hearing the breeding objective of the Ram Selection activity

2. R & D Update:

Winning against seeds

Seed contamination is the cause of significant financial loss for sheep producers, processors and the entire supply chain. Seed infested carcases can be downgraded by up to $1.50/kg or $30 per carcase, with skin values, wool value and animal welfare also impacted. MLA has recently updated two grass seed management publications for your sheep enterprise. Download the Winning Against Seeds booklet (pdf 1.2 MB) or the Tips & Tools Winning Against Seeds Fact-sheet (pdf 0.4 MB) for information and options on grass seed management.

3. In Brief:

Call for Participants

Labour productivity is a major factor in the profitability of sheep meat and beef cattle enterprises across Australia. An opportunity exists for sheep meat and beef cattle producers who have the desire to improve the labour productivity of their livestock enterprise to participate in an industry wide project.

Recent R&D projects and reviews have indicated that there is a lack of data available on the amount of time spent on each of the different jobs undertaken in a livestock enterprise. Many current systems do not record information to the task level and more commonly group task together and record them as ‘sheep work’ or ‘cattle work’. This lack of data makes it difficult to effectively assess the role and benefits of adopting labour saving technologies and practices.

With funding from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), Rural Directions Pty Ltd is re-developing a user-friendly time sheet data collection tool which will quantify labour input of individual operations undertaken in Australian sheep meat and beef cattle enterprises.

The tool will be piloted in the coming weeks and it will available for use by registered producers by October 2013. Contact Natasha Morley to receive more information about the project including the benefits of involvement, level of information required and technical support provided call 08 8841 4500, email or click here.

New Evergraze website

One of the legacies of Evergraze's ground breaking research and demonstration work is the new Evergraze website. Evergraze has produced more than 300 resources (tools, calculators, fact-sheets etc) for producers across the high rainfall zone of southern Australia, all of which will become available on the website as they are finalised. So check out the new website and feel free to provide feedback using the Contact Evergraze online form, available on the Contact Us webpage.

MLA Challenge launched: six red meat producers set to make more from their business

Six beef and sheepmeat producers from across Australia will strive to improve the productivity and profitability of their enterprises in the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Challenge that started recently. With the support of a business coach, producer mentor and a wealth of the latest MLA research and industry resources each challenger will be honing their operations over the next 12 months. The two sheepmeat producers participating are – John Ramsey from Bothwell, Tasmania and Marcus Sounness from Amelup, Western Australia.

Follow their journeys at and get the dirt on what works for them, plus learn how to get the very best out of your own business.

Successful Queensland Workshop series

A series of four "Nutritional Management of Merinos for Optimum Production" workshops was recently held in Queensland, sponsored by Making More from Sheep and Leading Sheep. The workshops were presented by Dr John Milton from the University of WA and focused on the impact of nutrition on reproduction as well as using the "ram effect". Participants rated their satisfaction with the workshop series as 9.5/10 with many noting their intention to change nutritional management as a result of their participation. For more opportunities to get involved with Making More from Sheep see the Events Page.

Photo: Dr John Milton presenting at the Longreach Nutritional Management workshop

4. Coming Events

Making More from Sheep runs a range of events mostly aimed at small groups/audiences of sheep producers looking to improve their skills and knowledge on a topic of local interest. State coordinators are available to assist in organising events and presenters that suit local needs and are keen to hear work with groups, facilitators or service providers for single events or a series of activities. For further information contact your state coordinator or check out the Making More from Sheep Events page