It’s ewe time! Forums set for Victoria and New South Wales

20 February 2019

Sheep producers across northern Victoria and the Riverina region of New South Wales can access timely tips and tools to tailor flock management to seasonal conditions when the It’s ewe time! forums kick off this month.

The half-day forums will deliver practical information designed 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.

The forums start on Tuesday, February 26 at Birchip Community Leisure Centre, Victoria, followed on Wednesday, February 27, at Deniliquin RSL Club, NSW; and Thursday, 28 February, at Benalla Town Hall, Victoria.

Topics and guest speakers include:

  • Sheepmeat and wool outlook – MLA
  • Maximising ewe performance – Hamish Dickson, AgriPartner Consulting
  • Winning with weaners – Rob Inglis, Elders
  • Making money from measuring – Ben Swain, BCS Agribusiness
  • Sheep health is your wealth – Helen McGregor, Redefining Agriculture
  • Dry times decision making – Hilary Beech, Holmes Sackett

AgriPartner Consulting Principal Livestock Consultant, Hamish Dickson, said despite high feed costs, the current market conditions for sheepmeat and wool meant that in many situations, producers could justify continuing to supplementary feed their stock.

“Even though dry or drought conditions are continuing in many sheep production areas, there are still many producers considering what level of production they’re aiming for, rather than just feeding stock for survival,” Mr Dickson said.

“Goal setting and target setting is a really important first step and that’s what the ‘Maximising ewe performance’ session will start with.

“If you have clear targets about the level of production you’re aiming for, guided by the cost-benefit of supplementary feeding, then we can start to get into more strategic decisions and priorities for identifying ewes we want to sell or keep, using both historical data and tools such as pregnancy scanning.

“Nutrition and management of pregnant and lactating ewes are both crucial factors in maximising ewe and lamb survival, as well as the life-time productivity of the ewe and her progeny.

“In terms of management, we will look at a range of tools including target condition scores throughout pregnancy and how to cost-effectively meet nutrition requirements.”

The forums continue to Jamestown, Karoonda and Naracoorte in South Australia in March, and Armidale, NSW, in April.

The cost is $35 per person to attend the forums, which includes a forum booklet, morning tea and lunch. The forums run from 8.30am to 12.50pm, followed by an informal lunch with speakers.

To register and for more information visit www.makingmorefromsheep.com.au/events or call 1800 070 099.

Photo caption: AgriPartner Consulting Principal Livestock Consultant, Hamish Dickson.

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