The use of technology to improve and simplify sheep management will be a key focus at upcoming It’s Ewe Time events to be held later this month.
Hosted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in partnership with Meat and Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovation, the forums will be held across the country, with two events in WA on Tuesday 22 August in Esperance and Thursday 24 August in Northam.
Part of the Making More From Sheep initiative, the forums are designed to increase producer awareness of the tools, techniques and technologies to help build a profitable and productive sheep enterprise.
The line-up of expert speakers will include the department’s senior economist Tamara Alexander on alternative pathways to enterprise expansion, Brown Besier of Besier Parasitology on sheep health management and Daniel Brown of Sheep Genetics on genetic improvement techniques.
Department sheep research officer John Paul Collins will discuss the use of new on-farm technology to improve labour efficiency, sheep traceability and breeding in sheep businesses.
“There are a range of labour-saving tools for producers to increase efficiency and improve on-farm sheep management,” Mr Collins said.
“Our on-farm technology pilot group has been investigating the benefits of some of these labour-saving tools, including sheep handlers and electronic identification ear tags.”
Broomehill farmer and pilot group member Scott Newbey started using a sheep handler for weaning in October last year.
Mr Newbey would have previously worked up and down the race providing three separate needles, a drench and flystrike prevention treatment, but has now consolidated all of these tasks in a one-pass operation.
“I now use the handler for additional tasks, including vaccinations, backlining sheep off-shears and preparing cross-bred lambs for sale,” Mr Newbey said.
“The handler has reduced the time needed to complete these tasks, and has allowed me to improve management practices and collect extra bodyweight data.”
For further information on It’s Ewe Time or to register for an event, visit wool.com/events
The department’s Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) project is supported by Royalties for Regions.
Media contacts: Lisa Bertram/Katrina Bowers, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937/3789