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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
26 ON-FARM FAST FACTS l Young woolgrower Dan Korff uses the latest on-farm technology to provide productivity efficiencies on the property he manages, ‘Avington’ in central Victoria. l Dan loves the wool industry and is passionate about encouraging the next generation to join it. l Dan was a participant in AWI’s four-day professional development Breeding Leadership course. 23-year old Dan Korff is a progressive young woolgrower who is passionate about growing wool. Dan manages ‘Avington’, near Kyneton in central Victoria, for Noel and Lyndsay Henderson. The Hendersons established Avington in 1998 and began a large property improvement program. Dan is from a rural background, and spent his early career jackarooing across NSW and in the Blackall district of central Queensland. He has a Bachelor of Agricultural Management from Marcus Oldham College, Geelong, and in 2011, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW presented him with a Rural Achiever Award for farm management. The enterprise that Dan manages is 1500 hectares across two properties – Avington and Balboora. There he runs 10,200 head of superfine and ultrafine Merinos, made up of approximately 3000 breeding ewes, 5000 wethers, and the balance are young sheep. Dan is keen on using the latest technologies at Avington to provide productivity efficiencies and a safe and enjoyable working environment. COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY Dan has a bracket on both his quad bike and 4WD ute to which he can attach his iPad, so he can access his emails, the internet, and all his business files out in the paddock without having to be in the office. “One of the benefits is that I can respond to communication as soon as I receive it,” Dan explains. “I hate having to sit in the office at the end of a day and shoot off a heap of emails or call a heap of people; the iPad has allowed me to communicate in real time, all while moving stock, checking pastures or any other jobs that need to be done. “Particularly at busy times, like sale times, I need to be able to know what prices we are being quoted and be able to respond quickly. “I also have weed and pasture apps on my iPad which are terrific for weed Young woolgrower’s passion for technology identification. And if I’m not sure about the weed, I can just take a photo and send it to my agronomist while I’m there in the paddock, and then keep droving the sheep! “Although I can’t escape the office entirely, the new technology certainly makes a marked difference to how I operate.” ELECTRONIC TAGS Avington uses electronic tags on all its sheep to make data recording and storage simple. All the sheep are tagged at lamb marking and weaning, usually visual tagged at marking, then electronic tagged at weaning. Each EID (electronic identification) is matched to the VID (visual identification) so if one tag falls out they can always trace and replace it correctly. “The tags are read whenever the sheep are in the yards and I want to know something about the animal,” Dan says. “The major time this is used is at classing time when we want to know the fibre measurement and the pedigree of an animal. “I use the Stockbook program from Practical Systems; all the information ever collected on our animals is stored against its EID on the system. You can add whatever information you like. We store pedigree, fibre tests, structural comments, Young woolgrower Dan Korff mustering on the property that he manages, near Kyneton in central Victoria. March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE