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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
ON FARM 45 The purpose of these two trials was to begin testing the mothering up capabilities of the AWI Smart Tags on commercial properties. Since previous work was completed, updates have been made to the software and algorithms in the tags used to perform mothering up. The objective of the trials was to test these updates and determine their accuracy. Two woolgrowers from central west NSW raised their hands to generously assist in the trials: John Coughlan of ‘Cudal Park’, a commercial property just outside Orange and James Armstrong from ‘Cassillis Park Merino Stud’. Both woolgrowers provided lambs and ewes to be DNA tested and tagged, while allowing AWI staff onto their properties to assist with the installation of the Smart Tag equipment. The trials have been completed and during that time the Smart Tag system worked very well showing a constant collection of data that is now being compared to the DNA results for verification. While all the DNA results have not yet come back, the results so far are looking very promising. The enterprise at ‘Cudal Park’ is a fine wool- growing operation with sheep meat as a secondary income. The wool is soft, white, well-nourished with beautiful handle on a low maintenance, polled, modern, plain non mulesed Merino. “The flock consists of 2,500 breeding ewes with equal amount of lambs, and we normally run 2,000 wethers but they have all been sold because of the current drought,” John said. “It is a 16-micron flock based on Yalgoo genetics for 21 years via yearly purchased rams and a AI programme to breed my own rams. Rams are selected for excellent wool traits and high productivity. “I was interested to participate in the trial because R&D is critical to a farming operation to increase productivity and efficiency on an ongoing basis. This is achieved by using new technology and collecting data and then assessing the results to improve productivity across the whole farm.” Cassilis Park Merino Stud is a mixed farm based at Cassilis NSW. It is a family run operation that has been selling 150 medium wool rams annually in conjunction with a trading cattle enterprise and dual-purpose cropping. “Cam and Winks Armstrong, along with Kylie and I have previously utilised PMM, EID, ET, AI and DNA technology to ensure we identify, select and replicate our best genetics as well as utilise our labour as efficiency as possible,” James said. “The family value the on-farm R&D work that AWI has carried over the years and are pleased to participate in this current trial.” AWI would like to thank John and James for their assistance and cooperation in running the trials. Trials to examine how well AWI Smart Tags match ewes with their lambs in the paddock has been undertaken on two commercial wool-growing properties. MONITORING MOTHERING UP John Coughlan (right) with Mick Chellas at Cudal Park in the central west of NSW. James Armstrong applying a collar tag to a ewe at Cassilis Park Merino Stud in the central west of NSW. The Woolmark logo is world-renowned and the most recognised label for fibre quality in the textile industry. If you are an Australian woolgrower, AWI encourages you to apply for a stencil. By branding your bales with the Woolmark logo, you proudly identify your wool as Australian grown and connect your greasy wool to this global branding opportunity. The new Woolmark bale stencil will, over time, form part of a broader supply chain integrity program that has been initiated by AWI. Woolgrowers are eligible to apply for a stencil if they were eligible to vote in WoolPoll, ie they have paid more than a total of $100 in wool levies over the past three financial years. Eligible Australian woolgrowers should head to www.wool.com/stencil and order their Woolmark stencil. Alternatively, woolgrowers can fill out the hard copy application form that was included with the December edition of Beyond the Bale. You can order up to two stencils per order and you’ll need to provide your AWI Shareholder or Levy Payer Reference Number on application. For further information, contact the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099. MORE INFORMATION www.wool.com/stencil email@example.com AWI and The Woolmark Company are offering Australian woolgrowers a free stencil of the Woolmark logo for use on their wool bales, to identify and brand their wool fibre as being proudly grown in Australia. WOOLMARK BALE STENCIL The first bale out of the shed at Wallaby Run with the new Woolmark stencil on it. Wallaby Run is the wool brand of Atkinson Livestock, a family wool-growing operation on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.
In the Shops - March 2019