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Beyond the Bale : Jun 07 - Jul 07
For more information about protecting the health of your ewes and lambs talk to your Pfizer Professional Sales Representative. Freecall: 1800 335 374 Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd, 38-42 Wharf Road, West Ryde NSW 2114. ®Registered trademark of Pfizer Australia. OGILVY HEALTHWORLD PAGL0010BTB Glanvac® with B12 for ewes gives lambs the best start in life protects both one dose Improves growth of newborn lambs Maximises wool cut Improves survival of ewe and lamb Provides prolonged vitamin B12 supplementation for Rob is the land's sheep-carrying capacity: "For us, that is determined by how much feed we can grow, which is why we have opted for a high-input system. To be more productive, the land has to be made more fertile." He says they look at the land resource in terms of its capacity to produce the right amount of feed with the right nutrition at the right time. "Because our best country is cropped, it allows us to develop the rest as permanent pasture and to make it very good pasture." At the moment Rob says they mate about 7000 ewes and run 2000 wether hoggets and 2000 ewe hoggets. He prefers to run large mobs in a rotational grazing system, saying larger mobs simply make life easier. When it comes to animal type he has a clear view of what he wants -- an easy-to-manage, plain-bodied sheep that is less susceptible to flystrike and worm- resistant. "Keep the animal simple and invest your time and energy in making sure they have productive pasture," he says. The animal as a production unit also dictates selection. "If a ewe doesn't produce a lamb, or consistently falls behind the mob, she's gone, irrespective of her wool quality. This is the sort of productivity trait we must consider when managing for maximum profitability." Rob and Jennifer are enthusiasts for the wool industry and for farming, and for using their time to build a legacy of profitable, flexible farm management within a healthy landscape. Rob also brings this optimism to the new AWI sustainable production system advisory group on which he sits. The group has been charged with assessing strategic directions for areas such as pastures, grazing management, natural resource management and extension. "On the production side we're looking at projects that can be classified as horizons one, two and three: existing research, then where 9 FARM MANAGEMENT BEYOND THE BALE next to get the 'best bang' for the research dollar, and 'blue sky' projects. Our job is to recommend what percentage of research funds should be allocated to each horizon." In April, Rob was also appointed to the board of the new Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation. Rob believes AWI has been a good investment for the industry, saying it has introduced research and development that has produced valuable results and cultivated a whole new culture of R&D in the wool industry. He qualifies this with a concern that R&D is to be cut again in favour of promotion. "It means we risk losing the research groups that have only just been rebuilt within the industry," he says. Nonetheless, he remains excited about the future unfolding for wool and also the potential for joint wool--crop enterprises. He regards high-grade dual-purpose wheat as being a next step-change because, aside from the grain income, it will substantially increase winter grazing capacity. "It will mean we can peak our pasture production in June-July and bring lambing forward so that we have larger store animals at the end of spring," he says. "Then, after har vest, we have the crop stubble that will allow us to maintain our spring stocking rate right through the summer." On a final note, Rob reiterates that while everyone has different approaches to their farm management, he is constantly mindful of the industry's potentially tenuous place in the textiles trade. "The difference between wool and wheat is that not everyone needs wool; there are alternative fibres. So even if 20 per cent of our clip goes into a dedicated supply chain that produces 50 per cent of our income, it still leaves 80 per cent of our wool remaining a bulk commodity, subject to supply and demand. That is the reality to be addressed." ú More information: Rob Egerton-Warburton, email@example.com Rob and Jennifer Egerton- Warburton and baby Zara: building a legacy of profitable, flexible farm management within a healthy landscape.
Jun 07 - Jul 07 Supplement
Apr 07 - May 07