AgMemo - Livestock news, August 2018

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 August 2018 - 4:20pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Sheep Industry Scholarship projects underway

Three scholarship recipients - Travis Allington, Thomas Clune and Elise Bowen.

Three PhDs, two honours and four internships have so far been awarded as part of the Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) Scholarship program which commenced in July 2017.

Projects awarded include investigating engineering and technological solutions to detect fly strike sooner, more accurate estimation of dry pasture, and improving crop grazing management through the use of sensor technologies.

Supply chain economic modelling is also being undertaken to produce heavy out of season merino lamb.

Reproduction issues including increased lamb survival of multiple born lambs, increased reproductive efficiency of young ewes, and the role of infectious and zoonotic diseases both in the sheep meat industry and in productive wastage are being investigated through PhD and honours projects.

The Western Australia sheep industry scholarship program is designed to support and encourage individuals who wish to pursue further study by addressing key industry questions relevant to the sheep industry supply chain in WA.

This initiative is part of the department's Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) project, which aimed to support the sheep industry to capitalise on growing markets for sheep products.

The program will run from 2017 until 2021 and offers financial support for eligible research such as:

  • up to $5000 for honours (stipend) plus negotiable levels of operating
  • fortnightly payments at the rate of $38 000 per annum for:
    • two years for Masters and negotiable levels of operating
    • three years for PhD with the possibility of extension, plus negotiable levels of operating
  • students can also be invited for vocational or internship opportunities.

Applications are open in two rounds per year and the next round will close on 31 October 2018.

Areas identified as relevant to the WA sheep industry supply chain may include:

  • improving reproduction, lamb survival, growth and performance
  • using sensors to detect date of conception and birth, growth and performance of lambs
  • use of economic modelling (MIDAS) to explore opportunities to add value along the supply chain, and improve decision making using new business models
  • desktop studies on adaptive enterprises and grazing management strategies to the changing rainfall patterns of south western Australia
  • steps towards the development of algorithms and analytics to interpret proximity and activity data from livestock sensors
  • use of sensors for on-farm sheep health decisions and to detect stock movement
  • assessment of the impact on the WA sheep industry of outcomes from the project 'Market and consumer insights to drive food value chain innovation and growth’
  • barriers to the adoption of new business models in the sheep industry.

For further information and to apply for a SIBI Scholarship, visit the department’s website.