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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2015-16
STRATEGIC TARGETS Targets for three-year period 2013/14 to 2015/16 Progress during 2015/16 For growers running Merinos: • Average increase of 10% in lambs weaned. • Subject to maximum additional annual cost of $2 per ewe carried. • Adoption across 9 million Merino x Merino joining. Partly achieved. • More than 400 producers have graduated from Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) training during 2015/16 and an additional 570 producers are currently enrolled. The total number of wool producers that have participated in LTEM is expected to exceed 3,000 by 31 December 2016. • Producers that graduated from LTEM in 2015/16 increased the number of lambs weaned by about 5% (103% before LTEM to 108% after LTEM) and reduced ewe mortality by 0.8% (3.4% pre-LTEM to 2.6% post LTEM). This latest cohort of LTEM graduates managed an average of 3,000 breeding ewes, and about 73% of these were Merino ewes. • The LTEM program has been delivered to producers responsible for management of more than 10 million or about 25% of the national ewe flock. It is estimated that this includes 7-8 million Merino ewes. KEY RESULTS DURING 2015/16 • AWI continued funding for Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) training that provides hands- on on-farm training for small groups of producers (average five) in the management and nutrition of breeding ewes to maximise reproduction efficiency. In 2015/16, 400 producers funded by the most recent AWI contract graduated from LTEM and an additional 570 producers are still currently enrolled. • On-going evaluation of group members continues to show significant benefits to participants through improving weaning rates and reducing ewe mortality. Producers that graduated from LTEM in 2015/16 increased the number of lambs weaned by about 5% (103% before LTEM to 108% after LTEM) and reduced ewe mortality by 0.8% (3.4% pre- LTEM to 2.6% post LTEM). There is some evidence that the impacts of LTEM on weaning rates and ewe mortality have reduced, and the evaluation can attribute this to lower rates of adoption of pregnancy scanning for multiples and differential management of twin-bearing ewes. Strategies have been developed to ensure the impacts of LTEM increase amongst future graduates. • The use of the LTEM iPhone App has increased amongst LTEM graduates and producers in the process of completing the LTEM course. The App has proved popular with more than 1,100 downloads during 2015/16. • The AWI Reproduction Strategy for 2016-2019 has been completed. AWI-funded RD&E is expected to deliver a 6.3% increase in weaning rate by 2030 and the BCA indicates that if the strategy is successful it will return $5.60 to growers for every $1 invested by AWI. • Multiple new RD&E initiatives to underpin the reproduction strategy have been developed and are already delivering benefits to woolgrowers. Some of these initiatives include: o Quantifying the effects lambing density on lamb survival and developing recommendations for mob size and stocking rates at lambing. o Development and testing of ‘Smart-tags’ for rapid determination of dam parentage and animal location and behaviours related to production and welfare outcomes. o ‘Merino ewe displacement’ to identify regions where Merinos are being displaced by other breeds, to determine opportunities, constraints and barriers of Merino production systems and develop research, development and extension activities that address the decline and grow the Merino ewe population. o Updating AWI Feed of Offer Library and developing feed budget tools applicable to a broader range of pasture types. The LTEM course is very hands-on, being entirely based in the sheep yards, shearing sheds and paddocks of the participating woolgrowers; the course is run in groups of four to six woolgrowers who meet six times each year with the facilitation of a trainer. REPORT OF 2015/16 OPERATIONS – ON-FARM R&D 17
AWI Annual Report 2014-15
AWI Annual Report 2016-17