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Beyond the Bale : September 2012
42 ON-FARM September 2012 BEYOND THE BALE GROWER NETWORK GROUP COORDINATOR PHONE EMAIL Sheep Connect NSW Shelly Anderson (02) 6391 3954 firstname.lastname@example.org BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB (Vic) Lyndon Kubeil (03) 5761 1649 email@example.com The Sheep's Back (WA) Andrew Ritchie (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 Cat Nicholls 0427 571 199 email@example.com Bestprac (Pastoral) Carlyn Sherriff (08) 8842 1103 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: WHAT YOU CAN DO 1. Ensure your ewes have a condition score 3.5 at joining and try to maintain that weight through pregnancy. 2. Scan for multiple births two months after joining and split flocks to enable preferential feeding for twin bearing ewes. 3. Reduce predator competition by shooting or selectively baiting for pigs and foxes in sheep paddocks just prior to lambing. 4. Consider lambing when seasonal conditions are warmer and there is a greater likelihood of good feed for ewes and new lambs. ABOUT BESTPRAC Bestprac is a program that provides support and coaches pastoral wool, sheep meat and cattle producers to improve their business and production performance. Typically Bestprac groups participate in a combination of workshops, field days, research trials or study tours. But Bestprac is "more than just group meetings"; it is about networking, social support and motivation in an often harsh and isolating environment. The specific Bestprac approach has empowered groups and individuals to innovate, remain in the industry and contribute to their communities. Bestprac groups operate in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. The Bestprac program has a website at www.bestprac.info. It provides project overviews, group profiles, latest news and best management practice tools. Visit the website to register as a user and receive the free monthly e-newsletter, which includes a variety of articles from across Australia. The Bestprac network is supported by AWI. 2. Identify ewes born as twins with, say, the low ear tag numbers for each drop. In times when extra sheep need to be sold, these might be retained in preference to single born ewes. Dr Rival says maintaining ewe condition is essential for successful conception and for the laying down of secondary wool fibres in the skin of the lamb foetus, which occurs 30 to 40 days before lambing. He says a lack of ready labour and the cost of around $1.00/head can discourage woolgrowers from pregnancy testing, but current operators are capable of processing more than 2200 sheep in a day. While it's not easy, a shift in lambing times to ensure ewes drop onto good feed and in warmer conditions makes lamb deaths from predation and/or exposure less likely. More information: View the full case study and video on the Bestprac website at www.bestprac.info Dr Mike Rival pregnancy scanning ewes at 'Eural', NSW.