AgMemo - Livestock news, April 2018

Page last updated: Thursday, 12 April 2018 - 2:48pm

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'Farmer wants a life’ sheep research open day

A mixture of producers, consultants, industry representatives, researchers and DPIRD staff in the main marquee at the ‘Farmer wants a life’ event.
The ‘Farmer wants a life’ event saw a mixture of producers, consultants, industry representatives, researchers and DPIRD staff in attendance.

More than 200 attendees including students from the University of Western Australia and Murdoch and Curtin universities attended the ‘Farmer wants a life’ sheep research open day in Katanning in March. 

The event was held at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)’s Katanning Research Facility by the Sheep Industry Business Innovation project, in partnership with the Sheep Alliance of WA.

DPIRD is committed to helping producers run their sheep enterprises as efficiently as possible. This year’s theme ‘Farmer wants a life’ focused on ways that producers could get more from their sheep enterprises by using the latest technology, emerging research and management techniques for sheep.

Sheep Industry Development director Dr Bruce Mullan said by investing in commercially-relevant research and development and collaborating and partnering with industry and universities, we boosted the productivity, profitability and international competitiveness of the industry.

The open day format divided the attendees into three groups that were rotated through a series of workshops and presentations in three locations (meat science and supply, productivity, and new technology and connectivity), resulting in a dynamic and interesting day despite the warm weather.

A range of expert speakers from government and industry presented topics including: maximising lambing; sheep parasites and how they affect the bottom line of businesses; the value of whole body energy stores in the breeding index; benchmarking using the DNA flock profile; the importance of meat colouring to consumers; sheep forward supply contracts; and maternal genetics.

Attendees took part in Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) tours, and interactive presentations and displays.

There was a range of on-farm technology discussed, including electronic identification tags for sheep, electronic sensors to assist with mothering up ewes and lambs, and software that can report data from on-farm sensing devices, such as those that record water tank levels, to a mobile phone.

For more information contact Julia Smith, Development Officer, Albany, on +61 (0)8 9892 8450