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Beyond the Bale : June 2012
weaning at the right age, we haven’t got that variation, so we don’t have those odd ones that are a bit too young. We hardly lose a lamb between marking and weaning – i t is working exceptionally well,” he says. As a result of LTEM, Peter says he is also seeing an improvement in the quality of wool he is cutting which is coming through in his bottom line. “The weaners are a lot more even and condition–wise, the ewes are a lot more even through the flock plus the wool length and tensile strength are a lot more consistent.” Peter recommends growers consider going through a LTEM course, adding that the course provides a lot of other practical knowledge. “You might think it is only about the nutrition of ewes, but there’s information on pastures, fertilisers, animal health and wool growth. The facilitator has the ability to teach and keep the group moving as well as having a good general knowledge. “As a group we have enjoyed picking the brain of our facilitator, Colin Trengove, on different things. “But you’ve got to have a group with people who are keen to try different things,” he adds. 25 selling more wool 25 on-Farm June 2012 Beyond the Bale She is young, passionate about agriculture and sees a bright future in the wool industry. Tara Hawkins is a fourth generation farmer from Neuarpurr near the South Australia/Victoria border and has been involved in Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) for the past two years after hearing positive feedback from other course participants. Tara, who attended Marcus Oldham, says the practical side of LTEM is a real strength of the course. “You get to go into some depth because you’re actually physically out there on the farm doing it, which is good, so instead of just focusing on theory you can do the practical side,” she says. Like other participants involved in LTEM, Tara says implementing LTEM principles results in more lambs on the ground, but the Hawkins are keen to push their system further. “ We are looking to increase our lambing numbers by trying different things like lambing three times in two years and maybe even trying shearing twice a year. “ Our farm is pretty diverse; we have irrigated Lucerne which allows us to aim for three lambs in two years. “ The irrigation is a really good tool for us as normally this time of year (late summer) there isn’t much feed around.” Having a more reliable feed base has seen the Hawkins increase their ewe numbers to take advantage of the strong commodity prices. Tara says they forward sold some of tara Hawkins from near the south australia/Victoria border, says the practical side of lifetime ewe management (ltem) is a real strength of the course. Fast Facts l Tara hawkins from near the South australia/Victoria border has been involved in Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) for the past two years after hearing positive feedback from other course participants. l Tara says the practical side of LTEM is a real strength of the course. l Tara’s long-term goals at the family farm include continuing to increase lambing percentages and wool cuts. their wool last year to secure the high prices in following years. “ Last year we locked in the price for a considerable amount of wool to guarantee getting that price. It’s been a good budgeting tool, so we will probably continue to do that. “ We might not get the big prices but at least you know what you’ve got if the wool market does go down.” While Tara still has another year to go in her LTEM group, she has some long- term goals including continuing to increase lambing percentages and wool cuts. “ I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to come back on the family farm. Dad and grandpa built it up, and I want to continue by improving productivity and keeping it sustainable. “ We don’t need to make massive changes; it is just about increasing what we have and making it so everyone enjoys coming to work.” ltem: praCTICaL LEarNINg