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Beyond the Bale : Feb 07 - Mar 07
ShearEzy on tour Peak Hill Industries' ShearEzy shearing system, developed as part of AWI's Wool Harvesting program, has now completed field trials and proved it has an important role to play in the Australian shearing industry. Ben Swain, AWI's project manager for the Upright Posture Shearing Platform (UPSP) program, says that ShearEzy has demonstrated reliable and consistent performance across a wide range of sheep types compared with 'on-the-board' shearing. It will now be demonstrated around Australia at various field days and information sessions as part of a marketing and commercialisation program. "These demonstrations will allow growers, contractors and shearers the opportunity to see the benefits of using ShearEzy first hand," Mr Swain says. "Being in their local area will also mean that people interested in purchasing a ShearEzy UPSP will be able to trial the platform on the type of sheep they will be shearing. "By making shearing physically less demanding and easy to learn for all shearer levels, ShearEzy is sure to be p Ideal for rams and large sheep does not require a dedicated s shed and can be used in any sh yard area." To find out when ShearEzy coming to your area, visit www.wool.com.au/shearezy or Ben Swain on 02 6743 2306. Field days ú Elders Kangaroo Island Field Day, South Australia -- 22 February 2007 ú Wimmera Machinery Field Days, Horsham,Victoria --6,7&8March2007 ú South East Field Days, Lucindale, South Australia --16&17March2007 ú Agfest,Tasmania --3,4&5May2007 Sheep hit the fast lane 3 AWI NEWS BEYOND THE BALE Powerful new technology to transform the Australian sheep flock will come from the new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Sheep Industry Innovation, announced recently by the Minister for Education Science and Training, Julie Bishop. Five thousand ewes in 'information flocks' across Australia and 20,000 genes in special arrays are the launch-pad for what researchers say will be the biggest and fastest leap in sheep value and quality since the breeding of an Australian-type Merino by the Peppin brothers in the 1860s. The new CRC team will comb the national sheep flock to find the right genes and identify breeding values for : ú easy-care sheep with high lamb sur vival rates and good welfare characteristics; ú a wool fleece designer-bred for luxurious wearer comfor t; ú pure white wool for textile end-use versatility; and ú meat with the healthiness, nutrition, flavour, aroma and tenderness demanded by today's discerning consumer. Ian Sinclair, chair of the existing Australian Sheep Industr y CRC, hails the new CRC as a vital advance for the industry. "It's clear the first Sheep CRC has made its mark, and that potential gains and national impor tance of the new CRC have been recognised by the Commonwealth Government's Cooperative Research Centres program." Professor John Gibson, director of the Institute for Genetics and Bioinformatics based at the University of New England (UNE), coordinated the application with major research groups and peak industry bodies, including AWI, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC), the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers. "The main feature of the new Sheep CRC will be a concer ted effor t to transform the rate at which new technology is adopted by the industry," Professor Gibson says. "We will ensure that there is a genuine customer focus and an understanding of market needs in defining the research." An ambitious nationwide program of genetic screening will combine data from a comprehensive set of measured characteristics with extensive genotype analysis, to yield revolutionary DNA-based breeding values for accelerated genetic gain.The program will link with Sheep Genetics Australia and the SheepGenomics program, both par tnerships between AWI and MLA. Work will star t with a multi-site breeding program in Februar y 2007, for which 100 industry sires have already been selected. The CRC, to be located at UNE in Armidale, NSW, has 20 par tners including the peak industry bodies, all state depar tments of primar y industries, three sheep industr y consulting companies, feed and technology companies and two universities. AWI and MLA have each committed $10 million to the CRC over the next seven years, which means a cash budget of more than $55 million when combined with the Australian Government's investment of $35.5 million. With the in-kind allocation of research staff, and the value of the commitment to transforming the sheep industry, it means more than $100 million over the next seven years. More information: www.sheepcrc.org.au Craig Welsh (left) has been appointed AWI's new chief executive officer, "to take AWI and its innovations from the farm through to our key international apparel business markets." The $280 million pest: Lucilia cuprina, the sheep blowfly. AWI on the web Online resources for woolgrowers have become even more streamlined with the revamp of AWI's websites into two new sites -- www.wool.com.au, which offers resources specifically for woolgrowers, and www.woolinnovation.com.au, AWI's corporate website. Alison Hughes, AWI's manager of online communications, says the woolgrower website is focused on providing resources and information to help woolgrowers improve their business.Topics include breeding, pastures, harvesting, animal health, the environment, testing and bale handling. It also features information on how AWI is working to increase demand for Australian Merino wool. The corporate site has information about AWI, AWI's education networks, how to work with AWI, trade news and 'Buy Merino', an Australian retailer directory to help you find wool retailers in your area. "The difference in both sites is the new design and structure now makes it easier for woolgrowers to access information resources online," Ms Hughes says. "We've found the internet has become a vital tool for woolgrowers and, as there is so much information out there, we wanted it to be centralised to help woolgrowers find what they need." Users can click on a global header, at the top of the page, to navigate around all the AWI online resources, allowing them to move from the corporate site to wool.com.au and across to online tools such as Woolcheque, WormBoss,Timerite and Wool on the Web.The design has been refreshed on both sites to work with the new structure and improve the overall usability.The new horizontal navigation represents sections of the wool pipeline with intuitive labels, making it easier to find the required information. "The information available about AWI products and projects and areas of wool production is more detailed and includes additional resources," Ms Hughes says. "For example, in the breeding section woolgrowers can access available tools, find information about tools AWI is developing and future plans for the AWI genetics program." Both websites have plenty of downloadable resources, including issues of Beyond the Bale. -- KELLIE PENFOLD AWI online resources now include: www.wool.com.au -- woolgrower resources and information www.woolinnovation.com.au -- AWI corporate website www.woolcheque.com.au -- a wool- pricing tool for Australian woolgrowers www.wormboss.com.au -- a tool for integrated parasite management in sheep www.timerite.com.au -- effective control of red-legged ear th mites www.woolontheweb.com.au -- technical information for wool processors www.merinoinnovation.com.au -- an information resource for designers, retailers and manufacturer s
Feb 07 - Mar 07 Supplement
Dec 06 - Jan 07