Webinars focus on sheep data scanning and early weaning

AGRICULTURE Victoria’s Beef Sheep Networks webinar series starts next week, covering the benefits of capturing lifetime data and a review of an evaluation of the production benefits of weaning prime lambs.
Webinars focus on sheep data scanning and early weaning Webinars focus on sheep data scanning and early weaning Webinars focus on sheep data scanning and early weaning Webinars focus on sheep data scanning and early weaning Webinars focus on sheep data scanning and early weaning

Agriculture Victoria is hosting sheep management webinars next week. Picture Mark Saunders.

Staff writer

Farmers can hear from Mark Ferguson of NexGen Agri and New Zealand Merino producer Charlie Love when they discuss recent case studies from New Zealand producers on the commercial benefits of electronic identification.

Agriculture Victoria electronic identification (EID) technical specialist, Kirstie Anderson, said by using electronic identification it is possible to capture data about the history of each lamb including litter size, the paddock it was born in, the team of rams used, the age of its mother and any faults at tailing.

"This forms the base of each animal's data. Its weights, condition scores, fleece weights, fleece measures and any classing information can then progressively be added to the animal's data record as it goes through the production year and its productive lifetime," Anderson said.

At the second webinar, Steve Cotton of Dynamic Ag and Agriculture Victoria Mixed Farming Development officer Rachel Coombes will discuss results from an on-farm demonstration that measured the outcomes for both ewes and lambs from weaning at 12 to 14 weeks, compared with commonly termed ‘sucker' lambs.

Coombes said the St Arnaud, Victoria, BestWool/BestLamb group set up an on-farm demonstration in 2019 to evaluate production benefits from weaning prime lambs. It was co-funded by Agriculture Victoria and Meat & Livestock Australia.

"The group were keen to explore and weigh up the impacts of weaning on live weights and dressing percentage, as well as seeing if the lambs occurred any setbacks. This was assessed while comparing the differences in management of ewes and lambs in the traditional sucker system and a system where weaning occurs," Coombes said.

Details of both webinars are:

• Capturing life data and using EID - Thursday 3 June from 7-8pm
Register with Eventbrite at: https://eid_capturing_lifetime_data.eventbrite.com.au

• To wean or not to wean? - Tuesday 8 June from 7-8pm
Register with Eventbrite at: https://to_wean_or_not_to_wean.eventbrite.com.au

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