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PRECISION MANAGEMENT Fine wool Merino/mixed grazing enterprise Robert Kelly Mt William Agriculture Pty Ltd.

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Presentation on theme: "PRECISION MANAGEMENT Fine wool Merino/mixed grazing enterprise Robert Kelly Mt William Agriculture Pty Ltd."— Presentation transcript:

1 PRECISION MANAGEMENT Fine wool Merino/mixed grazing enterprise Robert Kelly Mt William Agriculture Pty Ltd

2 Mt William Agriculture Northern Tablelands, NSW 1050 ha 5000 fine wool Merino sheep (16.8 micron), 850 trade cattle 880 mm annual rainfall Naturalised pastures Historical stocking rate 6-7 DSE/ha Current stocking rate 11 DSE/ha

3 Precision management Pasture management Ewe management Weaner management Genetics Parasite management

4 Pasture management Intensive rotational grazing Pasture budgeting Fertiliser and legume application

5 Intensive rotational grazing at ‘Mt William’


7 Improved pasture utilisation Increased pasture growth rates (20-60%) Increased stocking rates (40-60%) Improved labour efficiencies Micro-manage mobs of sheep Intensive rotational grazing

8 Pasture budgeting 1cm leaf area = 200-500 kg DM/ha 1 dse consume 1 kg DM/day

9 Pasture budgeting Pasture growth rates Stocking rates Decisions on buying/selling stock made easier Need and timing of supplementary feeding Efficiency during low and high growth periods

10 Fertiliser and legumes Soil testing Increase pasture quantity and quality Legumes: - provides nitrogen - thicken pasture sward - provides feed at critical times

11 Ewe management Fat score (FS) Pregnancy scanning Targeted supplementary feeding (protein)

12 Fat score Condition score (short ribs and spine) Fat score (12 th long rib) Key times: Target (FS 3 3+) 1. Mating: lift lambing percentage 2. Pre-lambing: increase lamb survival Source: A. Thompson, Vic DPI

13 FS at mating-lambing rate 12% increase in lambing rate per fat score at mating Source: average of 2003 & 2004 lambing Dr Lewis Kahn MLA Management Solutions

14 Pregnancy scanning Separate ewes into twins, singles, drys Scan at day 80 of pregnancy Allows time for paddock preparation Aids in selection for ewe fertility Non-bias classing of ewes

15 Supplementary feeding Key times: mating and pre-lambing Targets: single ewes (FS<3-), all twin ewes Cotton seed meal (CSM; 43% protein) (6 wks prior to lambing) Single ewes (FS<3-) 150-200 g/d Twin ewes 200-250 g/d

16 CSM & lamb survival 40% more lambs Source: Dr Lewis Kahn MLA Management Solutions

17 Weaner management Weaner mortality 4 th highest cost to producers Most susceptible animals to parasites Minimum of 25kg first winter (reduce weaner mortality) Higher life time wool production including progeny Maiden ewes reaching minimum joining weights Draft into separate body weight groups

18 Parasite management Highest cost to sheep producers Worm egg counts (WEC’s) Drench resistant testing- alternate use of drench groups Genetic selection for resistance Preparation of lambing/weaning paddocks Alternate grazing of sheep and cattle Reduction in drench use

19 Genetics Australian sheep breeding values (ASBV’s) Greater accuracies in sire selection Select best traits for individual farms Body weight, micron, fleece weight in commercial sheep Genetic gains for wool traits: 4% ASBV’S 0.5% objective measurement

20 $$$ IRG Grazing management 9 ewes/ha 83% weaning $192/ha Fertiliser and legume 12 ewes/ha $128/ha Fat score joining Feed 30% of mob 1 extra lamb/ha $25/ha Genetics ASBV’s $31/ha Parasite management Reduction in drenches Reduced mortality $40/ha Scanning separate drys Supplementary feed 1.2 extra lambs/ha $21/ha Weaner management Reduce mortality 10% Lift in maiden joining 15% $46/ha 6.5 ewes/ha 80% weaning 2002- $405/ha 2009 Gross margin $888

21 The future Increase number of IRG systems Improvement in weaner management Increased use of genetics Increase ewe fertility Zero drench use

22 Marketing World manufactured fibres to increase by 5.7%/year to 2012 Continued replacement of natural fibres by cheaper alternatives Rising level of personal income High end synthetics to grow the fastest – lightweight, softness and resistance to deterioration from perspiration Rising demand for flame resistant and protective clothing

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