The producers attended the bi-annual Lambex conference and met with leading producers, consultants and scientists to discuss the practical application of new technology on farm.
Organised by the WA Department of Agriculture and Food’s Sheep Industry Business Innovation project, the group visited Pooginook Merino stud, in south western NSW, where EID technology is used on all 6200 stud breeding ewes.
DAFWA research officer John Paul Collins said Pooginook was a terrific example of large scale, high-tech precision sheep management.
“The stud measures a huge range of traits that are used to calculate Australian Sheep Breeding Values as part of a high pressure selection process to generate significant breeding improvements and provide value to clients,” he said.
The group also attended Charles Sturt University, where they were briefed about current research projects.
“One project investigated the difference in sex ratio of lambs produced by ewes fed Omega-3 or Omega-6 rich diets, which found feeding these enriched grains produced more female lambs,” Collins said.
“We also heard about research into pasture types, worm control and embryo mortality, toured the NSW Department of Primary Industries feed laboratory and viewed its newly released drought feed calculator app.”
Since returning from NSW, Woodanilling sheep producer Richard Pickford has implemented a number of modifications to his sheep operation.
“I’ve made a few changes, including weaning earlier, applying extra selection pressure when classing my ewe hoggets and I plan to adjust my nutrition program to get my ewes to condition score three by joining,” Pickford said.
“I’m also using ASBVs and researching the value of investing in electronic identification for my flock.”