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

Making More From Sheep

1. News:

Full house at 'It's ewe time!' Events

Photo: 'It's ewe time' forum at Hamilton

Almost 1500 sheep producers and advisors attended the recent 'It's ewe time!' events at seven venues across five states. With trend data pointing to the national sheep flock decline having reached it's low point, there is a resurgence of interest in sheep as a key farm profit-driver. Forums covered 'take home and do' measures that farmers can use to make every ewe count, including: breeding and feeding ewes for optimal production, having healthy and easy-care sheep, turning pasture into product, using profitable finishing systems, ensuring Aussie lamb is quality lamb, and planning for success.

To view a pdf of the presentations, look for 'presentations' under the resources heading on the Making More from Sheep home page or click on this link.

Preparing for locusts

Australian Plague Locust numbers this spring are expected to be the worst for 75 years. Egg beds are spread well beyond the normal range as a result of locust activity last autumn. Depending on temperature and moisture conditions, hatching of eggs is likely to occur between September and late October. There is a short window of opportunity for effective locust control once the hoppers start to form bands before they can fly. In some states locusts have been declared an exotic pest giving landholders reporting and control obligations. Contact your Department of Primary Industry for information on state policies and control options. Forward planning will assist with effective control and management of chemical withholding periods and export intervals.

Bright outlook for lamb continues

Lamb producers can expect another year of high farm returns and prices on the back of favourable seasonal conditions, tight domestic and global supplies and strong export and domestic demand. MLA is forecasting supply to tighten as seasonal conditions so far in 2010 have been better than expected, leading to the withholding of ewe lambs for flock rebuilding. Lamb carcase weights are forecast to rise 3% year-on-year to 21.3 kg/head due to increased genetic emphasis on carcase weight, improved fodder and feed grain availability and the higher proportion of prime lambs in the slaughter mix. As a result lamb production is expected to fall by just 1% in 2010 to 428,000 tonnes carcase weight. For more information on the market outlookclick here

2. R & D Update:

Low residue option for lice control?

Six years of research into a biological control option for sheep lice is showing a great deal of promise. A team from Agri-Science Queensland, led by Dr Diana Leemon, has used a naturally occurring fungus (Metarhizium anisopliae) to infect and kill lice when applied to sheep in a dip or by jetting. For more information on how this work is progressing, along with how to access information on current lice control click through to the full article by Dr Diana Leemon and Dr Peter James of the Queensland Department of Employment Economic Development and Innovation.

3. In Brief:

Healthy Soils

Soil organic matter and the activity of bugs and earthworms that feed on it help improve soil structure and water holding capacity. As a general rule, a 1% increase in soil organic matter increases soil water holding capacity by 12mm. Eathhworms are a good indication that soil conditions are suitable for micro-organisms. Early spring is a good time to assess earthworm density. Checking earthworm density over time can help to relate your soil health to your management practices. See tool 6.3 in the Making More From Sheep manual for information on assessing soil health.

What do you mean by that?

The key to every successful business is effective communication. It underpins the transfer of information, the development of positive relationships and the creation of a productive work and family environment. Creating effective communication delivers benefits through focusing on relationships, relevance and respect. People have different styles of communicating. Get to know and understand the strengths and limitations of your communication style, and those within your business. See tool 4.3 in the Making More from Sheep Manual for a helpful and fun exercise in understanding different communication styles.

4. Coming Events

Over 5000 sheep producers have 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.

Events for the new phase of Making More From Sheep are currently being planned and will be posted on the events page of the website once they are finalised. In the meantime, have a look at the pdfs of the recent 'It's ewe time' presentations by clickinghere.

Online Marketing by Lcubed