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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2017-18
• The entrepreneur programs from the University of Adelaide, Australian and Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation are based around the development of concepts or prototypes of technical innovations for the Australian wool industry. Over the course of the programs, students from Adelaide, Charles Sturt and Deakin universities learnt how to take their wool innovation ideas from concept to prototype with the support of academic staff, mentors and other industry leaders. Examples of the concepts presented in these competitions include: a solution to improve connectivity on farms, devices to objectively measure wool quality characteristics, a faecal egg count test, and an app that encourages young people to learn more about coding. Last year’s Tech eChallenge winners have gone on to create a commercial business, Agrinet, helping farmers connect to the internet where poor or no coverage exists. • AWI funded the Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture (P2D) project together with all 15 Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) to develop six projects that evaluated the current and desired state of digital agriculture in Australia. Recommendations are provided by the P2D project to ensure Australian primary producers are able to overcome the challenges currently limiting digital agriculture and profit from their data. Recommendations from this report detail the key strategy components of policy, leadership, digital literacy and enablers that must be addressed to achieve data-driven practice change by producers. FEEDBASE & FIBRE ADVOCACY STRATEGY EXPENDITURE DURING 2017/18 $2,046,000 project expenditure FEEDBASE & ECO-CREDENTIALS INVESTMENT FOCUS • Undertake targeted life cycle assessment (LCA) research studies and conduct effective stakeholder engagement to address major threats to wool’s environmental credentials and reposition wool’s rating. • Develop and communicate relevant case studies demonstrating wool producers’ environmental stewardship. • Identify pasture species to fill seasonal feed gaps, increase feed conversion efficiency and mitigate methane emissions. • Develop a suite of options to enable livestock industries, particularly wool sheep to prepare for a future requiring resilience to increasing drought frequency and severity. STRATEGIC TARGETS Targets for three-year period 2016/17 to 2018/19 Progress during 2017/18 1. Generate significant improvement in wool’s environmental footprint ratings, and strengthen wool’s reputation for environmental stewardship. On track. A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment has been completed for wool’s supply chain including all stages from the farm through wool processing to use and ultimately end of life. Wool’s rating has improved relative to other natural fibres and the focus is now moving to a comparison with synthetic fibres. 2. Through better understanding of constraints to grower investment in pasture renovation, increase adoption of beneficial feedbase practices with currently modest adoption rates – reaching 20% of all growers by 2018. Target revised. Barriers to adoption of beneficial feedbase practices have been identified through AWI’s Feedbase Panel, together with targeted surveying of wool producers. Addressing these barriers and developing an effective extension program to increase adoption will continue through to 2021. 3. Prepare woolgrowers for the effects of climate change - by 2019, 50% of woolgrowers will have implemented climate change mitigating or adapting technologies without loss of profit. Target revised. Woolgrowers have been surveyed to establish the current level of adapting/mitigating technologies and adoption-focussed projects have been prioritised to ensure a range of effective options are available to producers seeking to mitigate climate risk through to 2021. REPORT OF 2017/18 OPERATIONS – SHEEP PRODUCTION 35
AWI Annual Report 2016-17