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Beyond the Bale : June 2011
27 June 2011 BEYOND THE BALE ON-FARM productivity increases PRE-LTEM POST-LTEM CHANGE (%) FARM CHARACTERISTICS Property size (ha) 1295 1316 +2% Area cropped (ha) 121 207 +71% PRODUCTIVITY MEASURES Stocking rate (DSE/ha) 11.4 13.0 +14% Lamb marking % - crossbred 111 125 +13% Lamb marking % - Merino to Merino 75 83 +11% Lamb marking % - Merino to other 84 94 +12% Annual ewe mortality rate (%) 4.9 2.8 -43% from over 170 million sheep in 1990 to about 70 million sheep now. At current turnoff rates, the national flock will continue to erode and the ability to meet projected demand for wool and sheep meat requires a significant improvement in lamb marking rates. "However, reproduction efficiency across the Australian sheep industry has changed little over the past 15 years with the average marking rate remaining constant around 80 per cent. "LTEM directly addresses this, and, if the LTEM impact could be achieved across 25 per cent of the national ewe flock, we'd increase the number of lambs weaned by more than one million/year," he said. More information: www.lifetimewool.com.au www.rist.com.au/lifetime_ewe_management Dr Jason Trompf: 0408 386 896 Darren Gordon, RIST LTEM Program Leader: 0408 114 656, email@example.com LTEM SURVEY RESULTS IN DETAIL 1. Farm level changes LTEM participants made significant changes in their whole-farm stocking rate, lamb marking percentage and ewe mortality during their participation in Lifetime Ewe Management. 2. Skill development Skill levels of the producers changed significantly over the course. Initially, participants rated their abilities at less than 2.6 out of 5, whereas by the completion of the course they rated their ability at more than 4 out of 5. The skills that participants performed the highest by the completion of the program were condition scoring and allocating ewes to paddocks based on energy requirements and energy available. Skill level ratings are: 1, low skill level to 5, high skill level. The LTEM program was developed as part of the Lifetimewool Project in collaboration with RIST Victoria. Lifetimewool was funded by Australian woolgrowers through AWI and by five state Departments of Primary Industries and Agriculture. With over $225,000 assistance from AWI earlier this year, funding was extended to ensure the LTEM course ran in 2011. MANAGEMENT SKILL PRE-LTEM POST-LTEM Calculating the metabolisable energy (ME) balance between ewe requirements and pasture availability 1.47 4.17 Condition scoring 1.71 4.33 Managing ewes to condition score targets 1.86 4.18 Precise supplementary feeding decisions 2.04 4.17 Assessing pasture quantity and quality 2.13 4.18 Paddock allocation based on ME requirements and ME available 2.23 4.29 Managing a higher stocking rate system 2.26 4.07 Interpreting feed quality tests 2.54 4.18 A crowd gathers to examine the sheep at a workshop.