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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2013-14
Identification of different pasture species and consistent feed sources that will increase feed conversion efficiency (FCE). Examination of genetic factors that increase FCE without reducing value of other important traits. Investment in scientific research to demonstrate impacts of new technologies on methane emissions. Develop tools and methods for accurately measuring greenhouse gas emissions from wool production. Dependent on demand and through collaborative R&D with government develop methodologies that enable woolgrowers to participate in voluntary carbon markets such as the Australian Emissions Trading Scheme (AETS), EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS), Carbon Exchange. Extension of information on carbon balances on wool-growing properties, changes in government policies and avenues for growers to participate in future carbon markets. Quantify and address technical issues related to wool's environmental footprint (including chemical, energy, water and land-use efficiency), delivering robust data to support the green image of wool. By 2020, support development of technologies suitable across 20% of woolgrowers that enables a 5% increase in FCE without a loss in profit. However, operational investment focus has been redirected reflecting recognition of the critical importance of improved reproductive efficiency (Strategy 1, Program 5) to achieving the FCE target, and the high likelihood of wide scale success. Provision of robust scientific data to support methane emission reductions that is consistent with the Australian Government's greenhouse gas reduction policy. AWI continued to invest in a number of collaborative R&D projects, including intra-ruminal carbon measurement technology, and carbon cycle monitoring projects. Deliver robust data to support the green image of wool. New Wool Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) completed. Wool carbon credentials assessed by CSIRO project. This technology underpins wool producers' ability to measure the amount of wasted energy released through ruminal gases (including methane) and thus identify opportunities for improving feed conversion efficiency and potential carbon market participation. Field-testing and validation of the intra-ruminal device (IRD) for measuring gases from ruminants is on-going, and RMIT has made significant scientific advances in membrane technology for use in this device. In line with significant interest for the IRD's application in animals and humans, the patenting of this technology has commenced in 12 countries. Wider applications of this gas remote sensing and membrane technology for human medicine and digestive health tracking presents a potential income stream for AWI and the other project partners. A CSIRO project has assessed the Carbon Credentials for the Australian Wool Industry' by identifying and benchmarking typical environmental contribution. The project has quantified the carbon stores and sequestration in soil, woody vegetation and pasture systems in the mixed sheep/cropping zone in Western Australia, and the high rainfall specialist wool production regions in western Victoria were assessed. 16 South Australian farm businesses completed a carbon market and NRM pilot training program. This program equipped these businesses with future generational action plans for carbon sequestration and productivity gains. This knowledge will equip these producers with knowledge to take advantage of carbon market opportunities as they arise. An AWI-supported project developed an online training package which successfully trained 29 consultants across NSW in the management of carbon on agricultural land. Work on the wool lifecycle analysis (LCA) has progressed well. Although there have been previous LCA studies conducted, this study was unique in that it: o addressed the need for a detailed, multi- criteria analysis of wool production to the farm-gate. o applied two divergent methods for handling co-production of wool and live weight from the flock o investigated the impact of wool production in three major production regions: NSW, Pastoral and WA. The methodologies developed for the issue of handling co-production in LCA have been utilised by an AWI-funded international expert scientific panel (funded through AWI Strategy 6, Program 2). This work has resulted in the preparation of a scientific paper submitted to a high-impact journal. REPORT OF 2013/14 OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2014-15
AWI Annual Report 2012-13