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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2017-18
R&D COLLABORATION DURING 2017/18 R&D collaboration with other organisations during 2017/18 made AWI investments more efficient and effective by reducing duplication, maximising leverage and providing a greater platform for adoption. Collaboration, especially with other RDCs, also helped AWI and the collaborating parties address the Government’s national and rural research priorities – see the section below. AWI has a demonstrated history of collaborating on R&D projects with other members of the RDC family. AWI was involved during 2017/18 in a significant number of on-farm R&D collaborations with RDCs and other research bodies such as government departments of agriculture, industry organisations, CSIRO, universities and commercial partners. Major collaborations during 2017/18 included: Vertebrate pest control • Wild Dog Alert (WDA) is a major co-investment program involving AWI, MLA, and the Commonwealth through the Centre for Invasive Species Solution (CISS). WDA is developing a warning system to give an early warning to wool producers, if and when wild dogs enter their property. • AWI is co-funding two new wild dog coordinator positions in Queensland, with further support from MLA Donor Company, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Queensland regional bodies of Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) and the South West Regional Economic Development Association (SWRED). AWI is also funding the western NSW wild dog coordinator with NSW Farmers and the Victorian wild dog coordinators with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. • AWI helps fund the National Wild Dog Management Coordinator position and several other wild dog control projects through CISS along with MLA. • AWI is involved with further rabbit biocontrol R&D – including identifying new rabbit pathogens, RHDV2 product registration, and national rabbit biocontrol optimisation – through CISS along with MLA and other organisations. Sheep health • AWI and MLA jointly fund ParaBoss, a suite of three products developed to help producers manage blowflies, worms and lice, which is coordinated by the University of New England with industry oversight. • An AWI research trial co-funded with CSIRO and Troy Laboratories assessed the welfare responses of lambs to analgesic options for surgical mulesing. Reproduction • AWI and MLA are jointly funding a project that is investigating the effects of mob size and stocking rate on the survival of twin-born lambs between birth and marking. • A research project is under way with AWI and MLA funding to investigate whether feeding ewes at joining with a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids (eg grain) versus high in omega-3 fatty acids (eg silage or pasture) is a viable and practical way to influence the sex ratio of lambs in commercial sheep enterprises. Farm automation • AWI is funding the Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture (P2D) project together with all 15 RDCs to develop projects that evaluate the current and desired state of digital agriculture in Australia. • AWI supports the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Rural R&D for Profit virtual herding project along with other organisations including the RDCs MLA, Dairy Australia and Australian Pork Limited. Genetic improvement • AWI and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) have teamed up with five sire evaluation sites to deliver the Merino Lifetime Productivity project. Feedbase & fibre advocacy • Research and information to tackle subterranean clover red leaf syndrome was produced by AWI in conjunction with MLA, the University of Western Australia and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. • The Australian Pastures Genebank that provides conservation of stored seed is managed by SARDI and funded by rural RDCs including AWI, MLA, GRDC, Dairy Australia and AgFutures. • The Phosphorus efficient pastures project is being funded by AWI, MLA and Dairy Australia. • The dryland legume pasture systems project is being funded by AWI, MLA and GRDC. • There is collaboration between AWI and the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) in order to better promote wool's environmental and ethical attribute through projects and activities. Woolgrower services • Extension activities is undertaken with state and regional based organisations and departments of agriculture, including BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB (Vic), Sheep Connect NSW, The Sheep’s Back (WA), Sheep Connect SA, Leading Sheep (Qld) and Sheep Connect Tasmania. • Shearer and wool handler training is undertaken with Registered Training Organisation providers around Australia. • The popular half-day It’s ewe time! forums are a joint initiative between AWI and MLA. • AWI and MLA remain committed to continuing to enhance the modules of Making More From Sheep as a critical resource for the industry. • The RAMping Up Repro workshops that encourage growers to undertake pre-joining ram inspections and health checks to get the most out of their ram team across the joining period, are a collaboration between AWI and Zoetis. • Administered by AgriFutures, the Horizon Scholarships program has many collaborators including AWI and other RDCs. • Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships are provided by AWI along with other sponsors including other RDCs. 64 GOOD BUSINESS
AWI Annual Report 2016-17