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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2014-15
• 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 studies 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 woolgrowing 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). By 2020, support development of technologies suitable across 20% of woolgrowers that enables a 5% increase in FCE without a loss in profit. Research completed in 2014/15 demonstrated that both high stocking rate with a quick rotation as well as a lower stocking continuous grazing pattern are able to be sustainable and profitable depending on the system. Provision of robust scientific data to support methane emission reductions that is consistent with the Australian Government's greenhouse gas reduction policy. Studies under way during 2014/15 demonstrated the potential to simultaneously improve profitability and reduce emissions intensity for sheep producers. Deliver robust data to support the green image of wool. AWI continues to develop and collect case studies demonstrating wool's eco-credentials. • Biophysical and economic simulations of a range of Carbon Farming Initiative offset options have been tested and models of whole farm systems' ability to assess greenhouse gas abatement options have been improved. Researchers have also developed the Carbon Offset Scenario Tool (COST) for sheep and dairy producers which is available from University of Melbourne website www.greenhouse.unimelb.edu.au/Tools.htm • When investigating a range of management options, researchers found that removing annual legumes, confinement feeding, increasing the area of Lucerne and higher fleece weight options resulted in lower greenhouse gas emissions irrespective of location, enterprise, season or which calculation model was used. • AWI supported MLA's Farm300 Initiative, where the focus was to boost livestock production efficiency and reduce emissions from livestock. The program trained 25 advisors who taught more than 100 producers how to use FarmGAS, Sheep-GAF, Beef-GAF or GrassGro calculators to measure their on-farm emissions. The project also delivered three online tutorials, four webinars, a series of case study videos and the Carbon Farming Initiative reached 55% awareness amongst sheep and beef producers surveyed. • A collaborative project between AWI, MLA, the Department of Agriculture, UWA, CSIRO and SARDI has demonstrated that temperate pasture legumes, grasses and forbs have the potential to reduce emissions intensity whilst simultaneously maintaining intake, growth rate and productivity. Six papers are being prepared for publication. • Field-testing and validation of the intra-ruminal device was completed. While the technology was suited to a small scale research environment, development of a commercial product for broad scale use by woolgrowers was not achieved. Due to this, additional investment to bring a product to market was not judged an acceptable return on investment for Australian woolgrowers. • AWI continues to fund scientific research to improve the current body of life cycle assessment (LCA) studies and provide a more accurate analysis of wool's environmental benefits -- see page 27. • AWI funded a project conducted by NSW DPI that investigated how management of intensive rotational grazing systems including paddock number, timing and stocking rate influenced feed quality, animal production, profitability and sustainability. The project was conducted with the EverGraze regional group on the Orange EverGraze proof site. Researchers found that both a high stocking rate and fast rotation as well low stocking rate continuous grazing could both be profitable and sustainable. Researchers acknowledged that stocking rate can influence what will be the most profitable and sustainable system, optimums are likely variable between individual systems, and that further research is required to extend the findings to other climate zones and regions. REPORT OF 2014/15 OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2015-16