INNOVATIONS in shearing, genetics, pasture growth and animal health prediction, and the latest research on feed supplements will be outlined at the MerinoLink conference on June 21.
The conference at Mercure Goulburn from 8am-5pm will be followed by a field day on June 22 at Gunning to demonstrate an upright shearing platform.
Keynote speaker, Meat & Livestock Australia managing director Richard Norton, will outline how levies are being invested in the Merino production supply chain.
Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody will give an insight into the wool market and Riverina sheep producer and 2017 RIRDC Rural Women of the Year, Sandra Ireson, of Hay, will cover programs aimed at fostering agricultural careers for young people.
The newly unveiled ASKBILL web-based program developed by the Sheep Co-operative Research Centre will be explained by Lu Hogan. The tool predicts pasture growth, animal performance and risks of flystrike, worm infection and weather stress.
A joint project between MerinoLink and Charles Sturt University evaluating the cost and production benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements will be outlined, along with genetic technology and the use of genomics at a commercial level.
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NSW DPI technical specialist livestock systems Phil Graham will round out the afternoon sessions with future Merino production system challenges. Elmore ewe trial consultant Kieran Ransom will discuss the best sheep type for a combination of prime lamb and wool production.
An upright shearing platform developed by southern New South Wales wool grower Grant Burbidge will be the highlight of the MerinoLink field day at ‘Merrill’, Gunning, from 9am to noon on June 22. The platform shearing system aims to increase efficiency in the shed and streamline sheep and wool handling, with no dragging or bending of sheep.
There will also be trade displays of sheep handling equipment, wool broking, animal health and industry research, and demonstrations of ram selection for commercial breeders.
Conference co-ordinator and MerinoLink chief executive officer Sally Martin said all members of the wool and sheep meats supply chain were welcome at the conference and field day.
Ms Martin said commercial producers would hear how MerinoLink research project outcomes could be incorporated in their enterprise to lift profitability.
“There will be plenty of tips and tricks on using the new technologies available in the market place,’’ she said.
“Speakers will be also looking at the additional profit and genetic gain to be made from using electronic identification.
“And, pasture is not forgotten with trends in pasture genetic improvement to be covered.”
Master Australian storyteller Murray Hartin will be guest speaker at the MerinoLink dinner to be held at the Mercure Goulburn on June 21 from 6.30pm.