Workshop on maximising ewe performance

merino-ewes-Gilgandra

Scanning rates have been low this year, so it is likely to be a low marking rate year.

Sheep producers throughout the New England region of New South Wales can access timely tips and tools to tailor flock management to season conditions when the It’s ewe time! forum is held in Armidale on Tuesday, April 2.

The half-day forum at Armidale City Bowling Club is designed to deliver practical information to increase producer awareness and provide take home tips on the principles, practices and tools of sheep enterprise profitability and productivity.

A joint initiative of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the forums are part of the flagship Making More From Sheep program and provide producers with direct access to industry experts.

Topics and guest speakers include:

  • Sheepmeat and wool outlook – Joe Gebbels, MLA
  • Maximising ewe performance – Megan Rogers, SheepSMART Solutions
  • Mob size and marking rates – Dr Jason Trompf, JT Agri-Source
  • Winning with weaners – Geoff Duddy, Sheep Solutions
  • Wool market trends and buying patterns – Scott Carmody, Wool Trade Consultant
  • Making money from measuring – Ben Swain, BCS Agribusiness
  • Dry times decision making – Sandy McEachern, Holmes Sackett

Consultant and producer, Dr Jason Trompf, said maximising the number of lambs marked to ewes joined continues to be a real opportunity for Australian sheep producers, particularly given the lower number of breeding ewes in the national flock.

“Scanning rates have been low this year, so it is likely to be a low marking rate year. Any producer who can defy the marking forecast and have product to sell will be in a good position in the coming years,” Dr Trompf said.

“At the Armidale forum, producers can learn about recent research that has established how ewe mob size at lambing can impact survival rates and how mob and paddock size can be optimised for different enterprises.

“The lambing density and mob size project, supported by MLA and AWI, set out to quantify the effects of mob size and stocking rate on lamb survival and provide some more credible recommendations for allocating ewes to mobs and paddocks at lambing.

“A key feature of this project is it was undertaken in a wide range of environments, across 85 on-farm research sites throughout NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, and a wide range of sheep types, including both Merino and non-Merino ewes, therefore there are outcomes applicable to all sheep producers.

“The project found lamb survival was poorer at higher mob sizes, but the stocking rate of ewes at lambing did not influence lamb survival. I’ll be discussing how producers can apply those findings on-farm.”

The cost to attend the forum is $35 per person, which includes a forum booklet, morning tea and lunch. The forum commences at 8.30am concluding at 1.25pm, followed by an informal lunch with the event speakers.

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