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Beyond the Bale : September 2010
september 2010 BEYonD tHE BalE 22 WOOL PRODUCTION FAST FACTS l The National Wool Declaration (NWD) provides a means for farmers to document their flystrike control practices through the wool selling system. l It provides a means for the marketplace to respond to supply and demand signals. less than 40 per cent of the wool offered for sale in Australia in June 2010 carried a National Wool Declaration (NWD), prompting Australian Wool exchange (AWeX) to urge woolgrowers to complete an NWD to allow the market to provide more transparent signals. Introduced in 2008, the NWD was modified by AWeX with industry to provide buyers with information about the mulesing status of the flock from which the clip originated. the objective was to encourage traceability in the wool industry and to allow the development of market signals for wool for mulesed, mulesed with pain relief, ceased mulesed and non-mulesed wool. the NWD allows the clip owner or manager to declare the mulesing status of the operation utilising the categories of blank (the market assumes mules without pain relief), pr (mulesed with pain relief), Cm (ceased mulesing), Nm (not mulesed) and ND (not declared), which is carried through the pipeline on the clip test results and sales information. AWeX CeO mark Grave says while the number of NWDs has hovered around the 40 per cent mark since implementation, the number of declarations indicating pr, Cm and Nm has increased steadily over the period to almost 14 per cent of all bales offered for sale in June 2010. In the superfine micron area more than 55 per cent are now being declared and about 40 per cent being declared as one of the pr, Cm and Nm categories. “ the NWD is for all sheep and sheep breeds. It is not a single breed issue but an issue for the entire wool industry,” mr Grave says. the NWD includes information on contact with shedding sheep, and crutching three months prior to shearing. “ Declarations allow our customers to make more informed purchasing decisions and, equally, provide valuable information for woolgrowers which allows them to FAST FACTS l FlyBoss, a new internet-based resource, enables woolgrowers to easily and quickly obtain information about reducing the risk of flystrike. l The information in FlyBoss is supported with training workshops delivered throughout Australia. make effective business decisions about their practices,” mr Grave says. AWeX has received joint funding from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) through a promoting Australian produce Grant to assist the next stage of the NWD, the Integrity program (Ip), to be implemented. NWD-Ip is the support program which provides buyer confidence in the NWD. An important part of the NWD-Ip will be the development of education, and extension material to assist communication with woolgrowers, stakeholders and customers on the value of the NWD and category definitions. the NWD-Ip will also provide for the development and implementation of desktop audits (pre-sale) to validate the NWD (approximately 1000 declarations for all auction sales) and the on-farm inspections of a random selection of pr, Cm and Nm declared wool clips or lots. “ but for now I encourage woolgrowers to complete the NWD and lift the adoption rate. We need everyone to get on board,” mr Grave says. More information: www.awex.com.au www.wool.com/flystrike woolgrowers have even greater support for the phasing out of mulesing in their flock with the release of new management tools, says the Sheep CRC. Sheep CRC industry training project leader Lu Hogan believes the development of the new website, www.flyboss.org.au, and the introduction of flystrike management workshops around the country are another step forward for improved breech flystrike prevention. “It is pleasing to report growers have welcomed both initiatives with open arms, indicating they are keen to learn of the latest resources and research to help them plan flystrike management strategies on-farm,” she says. “While the FlyBoss website has only recently been launched, growers are reporting it is easy to use and offers a ‘one- stop shop’ for managing flystrike. It offers information on susceptibility, breeding and selection, management, treatment and FlyBoss tools for reducing the risk of breech and body strike in all sheep.” The flystrike management workshops started in February 2010 and more than 400 producers around the country have participated. They are delivered by state agricultural departments and the Sheep CRC, and another 30 workshops are planned for the next 12 months. The workshops are then backed up by the website. The website takes users through the relevant steps to reduce risk by firstly outlining what makes sheep susceptible before moving on to assessing risk by using a number of the website tools. The third step is to plan a breeding program and then establish an annual management plan with the final step detailing effective treatment of flystrike when it occurs. Ms Hogan says the workshop information and website will be updated regularly with the results of ongoing research and trials. FlyBoss was developed by the Sheep CRC with its partners AWI, MLA and the state departments of primary industry. More information: www.flyboss.org.au A list of all upcoming workshops is listed on the site, along with contacts to organise an event in your area. Plenty of tools to avoid flystrike National Wool Declaration guides buyers