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

Making More From Sheep

1. News:

Pregnancy scanning boosts profit

Increasing numbers of Merino and prime lamb producers are using pregnancy scanning to more accurately target ewe nutrition and to assist with culling decisions. Industry estimates are that over 100 contractor businesses are now scanning almost 30% of the national ewe flock.
A recent Sheep CRC analysis of a self-replacing Merino flock of 5000 ewes in south-west Victoria showed that managing dry, single and twin bearing ewes seperately after pregnancy scanning increased profit by $9,000 or $1.80/ewe. Scanning is particularly useful in poor years as it allows more accurate matching of feed supply to animal requirements. Go to the Sheep CRC website for an update on the use of scanning or see Tool 10.7 in the Making More From Sheep manual for a run-down on the pros and cons.

Summer active perennials boost quality

A recent field day at the Evergraze Hamilton Proof site demonstrated the benefit of summer active perennials in being able to provide high quality feed in response to summer rain. One of the comparisions on the site looks at a system of different perennial ryegrass varieties sown on the crest, slope and valley compared to a system with lucerne on the crest, ryegrass on the slope and tall fescue in the valley. In each of the three years the trial has been running the lucerne, ryegrass, fescue (triple) system had a greater total production of dry matter than the ryegrass system, along with better summer/autumn performance. The ryegrass system produced more feed in spring than the triple system. For more information on the implications of these differences see

Anti-flystrike clips launched

A new alternative for controlling flystrike is now on the market in time for the 2009 lambing season. Leader Products have been licenced by AWI to produce the Anti-flystrike Clips, which are now available through leader products and accredited contractors.
The 2009 clips are made from conventional polypropylene (plastic) and can be removed between 8 and 14 days after application. Clips can be re-used at least once, thereby significantly reducing the cost per lamb. It is hoped that a biodegradable clip will be on the market in 2010.
For Anti-flystrike Clip orders, contractor or traininbg details, Leader Products can be contacted on (03) 93082355 Read more about the clips and other flystrike management strategies at

2. R & D Update:

Will finishing Merino lambs in a feedlot pay? 

Feedlotting lambs can be used as a management tool to meet market specifications and to add value to cereal grain irrespective of seasonal conditions. At this time of year feedlotting can also take pressure off pasture allowing a feed wedge to build up for other stock. However, producers need to be aware that while periods exist when returns justify the use of feedlot systems careful consideration needs to be given to the costs, likely returns and possible alternatives before committing to a feedlotting program.
For the full article by Geoff Duddy of NSW Department of Primary Industries, including a costed example of using the Sheep CRC Feedlot Calculator, click here.

3. In Brief:

Calculate your cost of production

Many farm businesses will be taking time before the end of the financial year to finalise tax planning. With business performance front-of-mind, why not  calculate your cost of production? Knowing your cost of production enables you to rate your annual performance and compare against industry standards. Procedure 1.2 from the Making More From Sheep manual provides the rationale for knowing your cost of production and points towards AWI, MLA and Industry calculators. Over 30 Cost of Production workshops have been run under the Making More From Sheep banner in the last 18 months. Contact your Making More From Sheep State Coordinator if you'd like a Cost of Production workshop run in your area.

Free "Pick of the Draft" DVD on clip preparation

Woolgrowers could literally save themselves thousands of dollars by taking simple steps to improve their pre-sale clip preparation. Later this month, AWI, in conjunction with AWEX, will launch "Pick of the Draft", a DVD that demonstrates how simple measures in 10 key areas can result in a quality clip that attracts a better sale price.
The DVD explores these key profit drivers and more - and includes other suggestions for improving profitability. The DVD will be free to Australian woolgrowers on request. Register your interest in receiving the Pick of the Draft DVD by calling the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099.

4. Coming Events

Over 4000 sheep producers have now 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:
- Sheep Reproduction workshop (including scanning), Blackall on May 27 and Longreach on May 28, Qld
- Plan For Success - Business Monitoring on May 28 at Orroroo, SA
- Grow More Pasture and Healthy Soils on June 25 at Wooragee, Vic

See the Events Page on the website for more details.

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