Nutrition & Animal Health

Lifetime Ewe Management App goes android for sheep producers

Terry Sim, June 29, 2015

LifetimeeweappANDROID phone-equipped sheep producers will soon have a new weapon in their fight to correctly allocate pasture and supplementary feed to pregnant ewes.

The Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) App, that allows sheep producers to calculate and match ewe feed requirements on their iphones, depending on ewe condition score.

An update to the iphone LTEM app with mob splitting and new FOO estimate capabilities is already available in the App Store on iTunes and the android version is expected to be available on Goggle play this week.

The LTEM iphone App was released 12 months ago by Australian Wool Innovation and RIST at Hamilton as an extension to the LTEM course, which has helped about 2000 producers manage about 25 percent of the national ewe flock over the past eight years.

LTEM participants have improved the number of lambs weaned per hectare by 30pc, by increasing ewe stocking rates by 15pc, halving ewe mortality and boosting lamb weaning rates by 15pc.

More than 1000 producers have downloaded the iphone version of the LTEM App and the android version is expected to be particularly well-received in parts of NSW where phone coverage is limited.

RIST LTEM program co-ordinator Darren Gordon said the LTEM app was allowing producers to calculate feed on offer (FOO) record flock and paddock histories.

“But the big thing is feed budgeting,” he said.

“Anytime you can benchmark your FOO against the pregnancy status and wellbeing or condition score of your sheep, you can make a good decision.”

Mr Gordon said allocation of feed is going to be particularly important this year if producers have fat sheep, especially with the predictions of a 30 percent chance in south-west Victoria of above average rain.

“You don’t want to be feeding fat sheep all of your good feed when it is going to rain.”

AWI media manager Marius Cuming said the LTEM and the LTEM App were good examples of the type of research the body should be involved in.

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Comments

  1. Dr Colin Earl, June 30, 2015

    I have yet to meet the researcher or producer who can accurately predict how a sheep will perform based on estimates of FOO. It would be nice if we could, but pasture growth rates and pasture selection by sheep make this a very difficult science. Observing and weighing sheep weekly at 9 different stocking rates made me aware how difficult this task is.

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