Sheep on-farm technology pilot group

Page last updated: Monday, 6 August 2018 - 11:05am

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The Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) on-farm technology pilot group was a group of mixed-enterprise producers who also run a sheep enterprise and implemented devices and systems to improve efficiency of labour, breeding and traceability.


On-farm labour has been identified as a key constraint in the expansion of the sheep flock within Western Australia (WA), particularly with broadacre cropping enterprises where sheep have a low priority in the labour management decisions. Using labour-saving technology will be imperative to increase the WA sheep flock and to attract and retain younger producers in the sheep industry. The on-farm technology activity demonstrated ‘state of the art’ labour-saving and flock management technologies to increase efficiency, traceability and enable better breeding within a sheep enterprise. It focused on best-practice in labour efficiency at the Katanning Research Facility.

The new on-farm technology pilot group (NOFTPG) was established in partnership with innovative and leading sheep producers. Producers who had ideas to share, and who were interested in being involved in demonstrating systems and devices to make sheep-work easier  were selected.


Thomas Pengilly, Esperance
Name: Thomas PengillyLocation: EsperanceGrower group: ASheep
Photo of Greg Hyde
Name: Greg HydeLocation: OngerupGrower group: Fitzgerald Biosphere Group
photo of Peter Walker
Name: Peter WalkerLocation: NewdegateGrower group: Lakes Information and Farming Technology
Photo of Alex Coole
Name: Alex CooleLocation: FranklandGrower group: Stirlings to coast, The Sheeps Back program
Scott Newbey profile picture
Name: Scott NewbeyLocation: BroomehillGrower group: Southern Dirt
Andrew Slade
Name: Andrew SladeLocation: KendenupGrower group: Stirlings to Coast
Photo of Audrey Bird
Name: Audrey BirdLocation: WickepinGrower group: Facey group
Photo of Clayton South
Name: Clayton SouthLocation: WaginGrower group: East Wagin Topcrop group plus an informal precision sheep group
Photo of Roger House
Name: Roger HouseLocation: KojonupGrower group: Southern Dirt
Photo of Richard Pickford
Name: Richard PickfordLocation: WoodanillingGrower group: Southern Dirt
Photo of Emily Stretch
Name: Emily StretchLocation: KojonupGrower group: Southern Dirt
Photo of Jonathan England
Name: Jonathan England (AgInnovate consultant)Location: NarroginGrower group: N/A

Pilot group Terms of Reference

Purpose of the pilot group

  • provide advice and guidance on the investment into new on-farm technology at the Katanning Research Facility to improve labour efficiency, traceability and breeding
  • share knowledge and experience in testing new technology within their own sheep enterprises and give definitive feedback on prospective innovations and products
  • be involved in further testing and modifying of innovations and products and share this knowledge with other sheep producers.

Outcomes and Outputs

  • identified issues that may affect the success of the SIBI new on-farm technology project outcomes, delivery or adoption
  • shared feedback from networks and peers on the level of adoption of new on-farm technology in sheep enterprises
  • shared barriers to adoption of new on-farm technology and presented possible solutions to overcome these barriers
  • where possible, tested, modified and adapted a product or innovation to fit into their own sheep enterprise and shared this experience through case studies, field days and industry events
  • individually and collectively championed and promoted the project; encouraged participation and engagement 
  • assisted in promoting stakeholder and community ownership and supported the project and its deliverables.

Contact information