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

1. News:

Red meat plan consultation

Producers, processors and exporters of red meat and livestock are invited to provide their insights to help define the industry's direction through the development of the next Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP) 2015-2020.The MISP frames the overarching direction of the production, processing and live export sectors of Australia's beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat industries. Its development and delivery is overseen by the industry's peak representative body, the Red Meat Advisory Council Ltd (RMAC).

The council is running a series of consultation workshops through October and is encouraging people with a stake in the industry to get involved. The workshop schedule can be found on the Sheepmeat Council of Australia website. People that can't make it to a workshop can provide feedback directly to the RMAC CEO, Angus Hobson via email ( For insight on some of the issues starting to come through, click here to read the report of the RMAC stakeholder forum held in early September.

New videos released

MLA has recently uploaded a series of videos on You Tube dealing with managing grass seed contamination of wool and carcasses. To see the videos either click here, or go direct to YouTube and search for mla grass seeds.

Also, for those sheep producers dealing with difficult soil conditions for pasture establishment in the Northern Agricultural Region of WA, DAFWA has uploaded a series of new videos (click here). The series covers the essential steps for successful establishment of sub-tropical grasses, tagasaste management and pasture cropping.

Sheep industry projections mid-year update

Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2014 sheep industry projections mid-year update suggests the outlook for the Australian lamb industry continues to look positive, with producer confidence built on strong export demand and a robust Australian market. Lamb exports are forecast to set a new calendar year record in 2014, reaching 218,000 tonnes swt – up 2% on the previous record set in 2013. Mutton shipments are forecast to decline 7% in 2014, to 160,000 tonnes swt. Australian live sheep exports are forecast to reach 2.3 million head in 2014, up 16.6% on the 1.973 million head exported in 2013.On the domestic front, the Australian sheep flock is forecast to increase following two years of drought-induced higher sheep turnoff and tighter lamb numbers. At June 2014, the flock was estimated at 72.2 million head – a 2.7% decline from the preceding 12 months. It is expected the flock will increase towards 75 million head from 2015. For more details download the full report (1.8 MB)

2. R & D Update:

Nuffield scholar's insights into ewe reproductive performance

Managing the reproductive performance of ewes has become increasingly sophisticated, requiring the identification of key decision points and implementing appropriate responses. AWI sponsored Nuffield Scholar for 2013, Matthew Ipsen, who is a sheep producer and contractor in sheep reproductive services, used his scholarship to investigate world's best practice in sheep reproduction and lamb survival. For a snapshot of Matthew's key points on ewe performance click here.

3. Management Tips:

Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) expansion

LTEM has now involved over 2000 sheep producers managing 20% of the nations flock. Participants in LTEM have averaged a 10% increase in lamb marking, reduced ewe mortality by 33% and increased stocking rate by 12%, significantly boosting profit. AWI has announced an expansion in LTEM funding that will assist in the training of 600 more sheep producers in 120 groups up to 2017. It has also developed a LTEM smartphone app, targeted for release later this year. To set up a LTEM group in your local area call RIST on 0355730943 or visit

Lamb growth planner

The Making More from Sheep lamb growth planner (tool 3.1) is a simple template to assist with calculating average lamb growth rate to sale. Huge variation in lamb growth rate to sale exists between properties, even in pasture based finishing systems.By benchmarking your lamb growth rate against figures for your region you may identify opportunities that can impact on profit such as improving pasture management or using better genetics. Click here to download the template.

Feed demand calculator

MLA’s Feed demand calculator has been updated with a new look, some extra features and greater reliability.The Feed demand calculator allows producers to gain an appreciation of the pattern of feed supply and demand over a twelve-month period, the location of 'feed gaps', and the ways in which modifying the livestock enterprise might help to close the gaps.

Data entry has been simplified with a more intuitive and easy-to-understand layout and flow. Some new functionality has also been added including the scenario player which allows the user to explore the effects of changes to the supply or demand inputs. Video tutorials, to be released soon, will further explain how and when to use the tool, how to interpret the results, and how (and why) to run scenarios. Follow the link to check out the tool:

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, leading to on-farm adoption. 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.

See the Making More From Sheep events page for further details