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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2013-14
$7,581,000 project expenditure + 4.6 AWI staff (full time equivalent) Consolidation of parasite extension tools into one "Paraboss" tool for accessibility. Funding of regional lice groups to assist growers to share information relevant to lice management. Scoping investments for improved lice management. Development of technologies to minimise dags and flystrike in sheep. Reports on the monitoring of pesticide use and R&D on environmentally friendly pesticides. Support for NWD and engagement, education and support through the supply chain. Minimise impacts on the flow of wool from farms arising from biosecurity threats, through participation in the National Animal Biosecurity RDE Strategy and development and implementation of a wool sector-specific biosecurity RD&E strategy which addresses issues such as wool bale traceability and decontamination. Increase scientific knowledge on causes and potential minimisation of scouring. Review of dag R&D gaps completed. Aiming for projects to be contracted in 2014/15. By 2017, a 5% reduction in economic losses from breech strike across 20% of woolgrowers. The baseline survey was completed in 2012, and AWI will resurvey in 2016. By 2017, an increase of 20% of woolgrowers using best practice worm control. The baseline survey was completed in 2012, and AWI will resurvey in 2016. ParaBoss has been created and funded for three years with MLA. ParaBoss includes LiceBoss, WormBoss and FlyBoss and is managed by the University of New England. The National Wool Residue Survey was completed with 600 greasy wool samples tested per month on a state basis in proportion to the states' total number of lots sold. Initial analysis shows there is a moderate association between actual breech strike and the 700K SNP DNA test. A detailed study exploring the role of soil factors on incidence of Ovine Johnes Disease has been completed, and concludes that soil pH plays a small but significant role, and that soil iron content plays no role. There are early stage laboratory signs of resistance to cyromazine and dicyclanil. In the field if the chemical is applied properly there have been no signs of control failure but there are some signs that the protection period could be reduced. Urine Stain was added to the Visual Scores Guide following R&D that quantified its relative importance with Dags, Breech Wrinkle and Breech Cover. Urine Stain will be released as a Research Breeding Value when sufficient data has been collected in MERINOSELECT. The DAFWA (Mount Barker, WA) and CSIRO (Armidale, NSW) Breech Flystrike research flock project continued, and the consolidated data suggests that breech flystrike resistance has a heritability of 0.35 to 0.5, where 20% to 25% of strike incidence is explainable using the four visual traits (wrinkle, cover, dag, and urine scores). Significant effort is being directed at explaining presently unexplainable variation in susceptibility, where odour appears a promising candidate, and fleece microbiology and odour analysis studies are progressing well but require further validation within the research flocks, and potentially in industry. The associated postgraduate student project is progressing well. Further development of a process using liquid nitrogen to reduce breech wrinkle and breech wool cover with improved lifetime welfare have taken place in southern Victoria. The concept is encouraging but requires further development for the process to become commercially viable. Laser treatments to permanently remove wool in the breech were unsuccessful but further advances in technology are being assessed. Approval of the SkinTraction® intradermal for commercial use as an alternative to mulesing remains with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. The Australian Veterinary Association auditors (Dr Bruce Allworth and Dr Peter Hucker) conducted six-monthly assessments on the Breech Strike Program. The Genetic Reviewers (Dr Peter James and Dr Forbes Brien) completed an annual assessment which in summary concluded: "We congratulate the numerous agencies and individuals involved in the design and delivery of breech strike management programs and preparation of resource material for trainers, most particularly the genetic component of these. The effort that has been expended to digest the research results, to develop them to practical tools suitable for use by woolgrowers with different selection objectives, philosophies and approaches, and to extend them to industry to enable timely implementation is commendable." REPORT OF 2013/14 OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2014-15
AWI Annual Report 2012-13