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

1. News:

New website for beef and lamb lovers

The popular MLA Main Meal website has been updated as The new website contains information, recipes and nutritional facts about Australian beef, lamb, veal and goat. You can download recipes, magazines, eating plans or newsletters and even share your own recipes. Click here to visit and bookmark the site.

Pig Control Webinar

A recent pig control webinar organised by the AWI funded Leading Sheep program has been recorded and posted on the Leading Sheep website for sheep producers to access. The webinar covers pig behaviour, predation of lambs and the latest on various control measures. Click here to view the webinar. Recordings of other Leading Sheep webinars are also available on the website.

Producer Demonstration Site Final Reports

Several Final Reports from MLA Producer Demonstration sites have recently been added to the MLA website, including the following:

Click on the above links to see a summary of the project or access to the full final report.

2. R & D Update:

Feeding to alter sex ratios

Researchers from the NSW Department of Primary Industries have found sheep producers may be able to improve profits by selectively increasing the proportion of male or female lambs by managing the diet of ewes. Research conducted at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute investigated if commercial and stud producers could increase their productivity by skewing the sex ratio of progeny towards a preferred gender. For the full article by Dr Ed Clayton, click here.

3. In Brief:

Body weight targets for weaners and young ewes

Monitoring body weight of young ewes allows producers to respond quickly if growth rates are below that required to hit targets. SeeTool 10.5 in the Making More From Sheep manual for body weight guidelines to ensures high rates of weaner survival and acceptable reproductive performance in young ewes. Feeding supplements and adjusting stocking rates early is more efficient than allowing sheep to lose weight before acting.

Planning for improved lamb survival

Using hedgerows of perennial grasses to improve survival of lambs, especially multiple births, was shown to be cost effective in EverGraze trial sites last year. Planning for and establishing shelter of this type has a long lead time. Click here to check-out a short video on how one western Victorian producer is integrating this type of shelter into his business.

MLA Challenge – picking a winner

John and Annie Ramsay, Tasmanian sheep producers and current leaders in the MLA challenge are very focused on rams right now – which ones and to how many ewes? Also what are the risks of higher joining rates? It’s the focus for WA sheep producers and MLA Challengers Marcus and Shannon Sounness too. Right now it is all about picking the right rams by using the right tools and for the Sounness’ it has been Merinoselect ASBVs. Read more about their approach as WA ram buying season swings into gear and find out what the answers to the Ramsay’s questions are at or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Nutrition Workshop series

Over 220 sheep producers attended a series of 10 sheep nutrition workshops that were held in NSW during spring to assist producers to deal with the tight season. The series, conducted by Hamish Dickson of Productive Nutrition Pty Ltd and sponsored by Elders Ltd, dealt with issues such as nutrient and trace element requirements of livestock, matching paddock feed supply to animal demand, the use of stock containment areas and comparing the cost-effectiveness of various feed supplements. Participants improved their knowledge and confidence levels, with around 80% of producers identifying management changes they intend to implement in their business. Ninety nine percent of those attending said that they would recommend the event to others.
To discuss the potential for similar events in your area, contact your Making More From Sheep State Coordinator in January.

Photo: Hamish Dickson of Productive Nutrition Pty Ltd discussing pasture renovation at the Bathurst sheep nutrition event.

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.

Making More From Sheep Events will resume in February 2014. See the Events page for further information.