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Beyond the Bale : March 2017
Since 2008 more than 3,000 sheep producers across Australia, managing almost a quarter of the national ewe flock have participated in LTEM. AWI has partnered with Victorian based training organisation Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST) to support Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) training across Australia. It is proposed that the support will run through until July 2019. Over the next three years it is expected that another 1,500 woolgrowers will be supported through the LTEM project to undertake this leading training course. Woolgrowers interested in improving business outcomes through improvements to reproduction and survival rates are encouraged to contact RIST ASAP (on 03 5573 0943 or email email@example.com) to discuss course options in their area. ABOUT THE LTEM COURSE The LTEM course is aimed at wool and sheep producers seeking to improve number of lambs marked, weaner death rates, ewe death rates and overall business outcomes. The course is run in groups of five to seven woolgrowers who meet six times in the annual sheep calendar (normally within a year) with the support of a group trainer. The course is very hands-on, being based in the sheep yards, shearing sheds and paddocks of participating woolgrowers. During each of the six sessions it is normal for participants to visit all of the group’s properties to share and learn from one another. Days are typically long, full and LIFETIME EWE MANAGEMENT Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) seeks to improve understanding of the influence of ewe nutrition and management on overall reproduction rates through lamb and ewe survival. very satisfying. During the LTEM process, woolgrowers develop the skills to manage their ewes to achieve condition score (CS) targets to improve lamb survival, explore economics of supplementation and pasture management to review stocking rates and potentially to increase whole farm profitability. LTEM is structured to maximise knowledge through doing and seeing to both develop skills and also to effect sensible practice change. The program involves professional facilitation of like-minded discussion groups, practice by doing, on-farm demonstrations and learning from one another. The timing of each meeting is linked to critical stages in the management of the ewe's reproductive cycle. All sessions involve a visit to each participant's farm and focus on condition scoring, pasture production, food on offer (see page 46) and feed budgeting activities. Activities are very practical in nature and are considered very relevant to many farm businesses. Woolgrowers will also have a very hands-on demonstration of the LTEM App which is a smartphone-based decision support tool which makes handling the ‘numbers’ and collecting the detail from the paddock and yards so much easier (see far right column opposite). LTEM evaluation shows significant benefits to participants through improving weaning rates and reducing ewe mortality. LTEM participants in 2015/16 increased the number of lambs weaned by about 6% (102% before LTEM to 108% after LTEM) and reduced ewe mortality by over 20% (3.4% pre-LTEM to 2.6% post LTEM). LTEM has been developed using research outcomes of the AWI-funded Lifetime Wool project (lifetimewool.com.au), which ran from 2001 to 2008, and involved growers and researchers in WA, Vic, NSW, and SA. LTEM is a great example of where investment in initial research, its further development and an effective extension model has paid off handsomely for the woolgrowers we work for, and it will continue to generate benefits for many years to come. MORE INFORMATION For more information, or to set up an LTEM group in your local area or to join a group in your area, call RIST on freecall 1800 883 343 or (03) 5573 0943 or visit www.rist.com.au AWI: www.wool.com/LTEM KEY TOPICS COVERED IN THE LTEM COURSE • Principles and practices of LTEM • Weaning and preparing ewes for next year’s joining • Linking ewe condition at joining with lambing potential • Pregnancy management and the impacts of ewe nutrition • Looking forward and planning for lambing – optimising lamb survival and future productivity • Potential reproductive rate and the impacts of ewe nutrition in late pregnancy • Setting up for joining in the second season – manipulating ewe condition and preparing rams • Economic analysis of different feeding strategies. AWI provides funding for Lifetime Ewe Management training aimed at wool and sheep producers keen to improve lamb and ewe management and survival. The LTEM course is very hands-on; it is based in the sheep yards, shearing sheds and paddocks of the participating woolgrowers. The course is run in groups of five to seven woolgrowers who meet six times in a year with the support of a trainer. 44 ON FARM
In the Shops - March 2017