HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2011
29 September 2011 BEYOND THE BALE ON-FARM ABOUT SHEEP CONNECT NSW Sheep Connect NSW is a one- stop-shop for information about sheep related events. The Sheep Connect NSW website www.sheepconnectnsw.com.au lists sheep related events with a focus on providing information that will help sheep producers. For example: field days, workshops, seminars, webinars, conferences, open days, training courses. If you register for Sheep Connect NSW, you will be sent a regular fax or email (your choice) for free that lists all the sheep related events in your area that address the topics you choose when you register. You can fill in an online registration form at www. sheepconnectnsw.com.au, or you can ring Sheep Connect NSW on 02 6391 3954, or you can send an email to email@example.com asking for a registration form to be sent to you. Sheep Connect NSW is a joint initiative of AWI and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. "COLLECTING DATA FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS HAS ALLOWED US TO MEASURE KEY TRAITS, WHICH WE USE TO EVALUATE MANAGEMENT DECISIONS AND INCREASE OUR SELECTION PRESSURE. FOR INSTANCE, WE ARE COMPLETELY CONFIDENT THAT THE CULLED EWES ARE THE ONES THAT MAKE THE LEAST DOLLARS." RAY HAIGH GROWER NETWORK GROUP COORDINATOR PHONE EMAIL Sheep Connect NSW Michelle Anderson (02) 6391 3954 firstname.lastname@example.org BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB (Vic) Lyndon Kubiel (03) 5761 1649 email@example.com The Sheep's Back (WA) Bob Hall (08) 9736 1055 firstname.lastname@example.org Sheep Connect SA Ian McFarland (08) 8226 0428 email@example.com Leading Sheep (Qld) Tony Hamilton (07) 4688 1270 firstname.lastname@example.org Sheep Connect TAS Andrew Bailey (03) 6336 5385 email@example.com Bestprac (Pastoral) Carlyn Sherri (08) 8842 1103 csherri @ruraldirections.com AWI STATE NETWORKS AWI state networks provide opportunities for woolgrowers and producers to make changes to their production and management practices. To learn more about how you can get involved, call the coordinator in your state/region. To find out about the recent activities of the AWI state networks, read the latest edition of The Network's News newsletter at www.wool.com/networks THE PSM SYSTEM With the PSM system, the Haighs now: l Weigh every animal regularly and quickly (up to 450/hour) l Record key features, eg breed, sex, origin, birth year, frame and condition score, flystrike, mouth and udder soundness, and wool characteristics l Record pregnancy scanning results l Mix animals together for management and trials, and re-sort on any recorded characteristic as required. "The sheep get used to the auto- drafter, they learn quickly -- especially when mums lead their lambs through for the first few times. "Collecting data for the last three years has allowed us to measure key traits, which we use to evaluate management decisions and increase our selection pressure. For instance, we are completely confident that the culled ewes are the ones that make the least dollars." The Haighs also run a small autumn lambing group. The ewes that do not get into lamb for the spring lambing are 'rolled over' into the autumn lambing group for joining, and vice versa. If they fail to get into lamb at the second joining, they're off to market. The RFID tags make it easy to track these individuals without having to isolate them into a separate group. Given the current cost of replacement ewes and good wool prices, it's possible to give them two chances in 12 months. "Our ewe breeding flock is divided into their pregnancy management groups at crutching time rather than at scanning time. This gives us ample time after scanning to analyse the data and decide how we will set up the groups according to what pasture and supplementary feed they need." Ray said the more PSM is used, the more ways he is finding it can be used to improve the business. BOTTOM LINE BENEFITS The Haighs were achieving 90-95 per cent lambs weaned per ewe joined and are now aiming for 115 per cent. "PSM helped us to produce an extra 25 lambs (2 per cent) in the first year and 50 lambs (4 per cent) in the second year, which is an extra $7500 to the bottom line. One of the extra benefits is the ability to check that every ewe is at optimal condition score across the breeding year." Ray said lamb weighing is now undertaken far more regularly, and easily. "We have almost halved the labour and time spent on sheep management. We save on money and stress, and the regular weighing gives us more information to make better feeding and marketing decisions. We think there is near a $5 per lamb advantage over using our old system. Ray added that PSM is not something for those looking for an instant solution. "If people don't know how they're going to use all the data, then there's probably little point in investing in the PSM gear. It requires planning and commitment." More information: The Sheep CRC offers online based information and training programs, including a case study on the Haighs, at www.sheepcrc.org.au/education/industry- training.php to introduce people to PSM, and outline the benefits.