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Beyond the Bale : June 2018
STRONG START TO 2018 CONTINUES In the previous edition of Beyond the Bale, I stated how I believed that Merino is a $20- fibre. With the EMI at the time of writing now at a record $19.83 – and 21 micron wool (the average micron of the Australian wool clip) at $21.88 – my predictions might be eventuating sooner than I expected. With supply having not diminished, I believe these robust prices are fundamentally a result of a strong and consistent demand for our fibre. AWI’s marketing in key northern hemisphere markets has been successfully cementing Australian wool as a premium natural fibre for which consumers are willing to pay a premium price. Meanwhile, other competitive fibre prices remain relatively flat. We all hope these prices can be sustained over the long-term to reward the hard work and loyalty that woolgrowers have demonstrated towards the fibre. MERINO AT BOSTON MARATHON The performance benefits of Merino wool were highlighted at this year’s Boston Marathon – the most prestigious marathon in the world – thanks to a new three-way partnership between global sportswear giant adidas, the Boston Athletic Association and AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company. To lift awareness of Merino wool in sportswear, the campaign involved the launch of an adidas Merino T-shirt for leading and influential runners plus a ‘replica’ version made available to other runners and consumers at stores across Boston and online. It is this type of promotion with high profile brands such as adidas that is helping build the demand for Australian wool. REGISTER NOW FOR WOOLQ The first piece of WoolQ functionality, the eSpeci (an alternative to the current paper speci), was made available for woolgrowers in March. The design and build of the next components of WoolQ – including the industry discussion forum and ready reckoner – are under way and scheduled to go live next month. I strongly encourage woolgrowers to register GETTING ON WITH BUSINESS We are continuing with initiatives to help increase the demand for wool through investments in marketing and R&D – from farm to fashion. Stuart McCullough Chief Executive Officer Australian Wool Innovation with WoolQ today – at www.woolq.com. Not only will you be able to use the eSpeci, but you will be kept updated on the release of further WoolQ components, including the Bulletin Board scheduled for release towards the end of the year. WILD DOG ALERT PROTOTYPE Ground-breaking research and use of innovative technology is being developed to help woolgrowers protect their flocks from wild dog attacks thanks to co-investment from AWI and their partners. Using an automated on-property camera trap device that identifies wild dogs, the Wild Dog Alert system will notify a woolgrower of a wild dog’s presence in real-time, to enable the woolgrower to act early and proactively. The aim is for the research project to build and deliver a prototype Wild Dog Alert Node by June next year, which if successful will then be followed by a commercialisation process. Read more about this project on page 40. RESULTS IN REPRODUCTION R&D Reproduction is one of the most important aspects of wool-growing, particularly in the current market for wool, lamb and mutton. AWI-funded research continues to build scientific evidence on how to best manage pregnant ewes. Three different areas of reproduction where AWI has been filling the gap in scientific research are: the use of calcium and magnesium supplements to remedy subclinical metabolic disorders in ewes; the effect of mob size on lamb survival; and scanning for the age of the lamb foetus to help determine the lambing date. Read the results of this AWI-funded research in this edition of Beyond the Bale. TRAINING IMPROVES PRODUCTIVITY AWI-funded research demonstrates that both wool production and reproductive efficiency can be improved substantially and at relatively low cost through adoption of targeted management practices embodied in the Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) course, so it is pleasing to see so many woolgrowers taking part in the course. To complement the LTEM course, AWI also offers a one-day workshop – Realising Performance Potential – which is designed to help woolgrowers lift the lifetime performance from their Merino ewes. Two other new AWI-funded one-day workshops are available to woolgrowers: Firstly, RAMping up Repro, to improve ram health, performance and longevity in sheep breeding enterprises; and secondly, Winning With Weaners, to lift the lifetime performance of young Merino sheep. AWI PODCAST FOR WOOLGROWERS AWI’s free podcast, The Yarn, which was launched 18 months ago, has gone from strength to strength with more than 40 episodes released and a growing audience of Australian woolgrowers listening in on their smartphone or computer. The Yarn includes reports from our staff across the world on marketing initiatives to increase the demand for Australian wool, plus our on-farm and off- farm R&D results. All episodes of The Yarn are available at www.wool.com/podcast. I recommend that you take a listen. ARE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS UP TO DATE? All wool levy payers (regardless of whether or not they are AWI shareholders) are encouraged to ensure that AWI has their up to date contact details. This is especially important this year because it is a WoolPoll year. Wool levy payers can update their details by either completing the 'change of contact details' section on the Beyond the Bale address sheet, or with AWI’s share registry (Link Market Services) via the link at www.wool.com/shares or the toll free phone number 1800 113 373. Wool levy payers should notify us of any changes in their email address, the same way as they would for a change of physical mailing address. 3 UPFRONT
In the Shops - September 2018