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New sheep feed gap solutions and pasture technology to take flight

by Sheep Central, 10 July 2017

Lambs grazing Wedgetail wheat in NSW. Picture – NSW DPI.

NEW ways to fill sheep feed gaps with perennial wheat and the latest technology to measure pasture and meat quality will be featured at the 2017 Grassland Society of New South Wales conference in Cowra on July 25 and 26.

NSW Department of Primary Industries researcher, Matthew Newell, said the two-day event would take participants to inspect beef, sheep and dairy production systems, offering insights from local producers and showcasing the latest research results.

“The focus is on developing a big picture approach, looking at filling feed gaps, identifying opportunities and exploring what the latest technology has to offer.

“Producers will be keen to hear results from a joint DPI/Grains Research and Development Corporation project evaluating new long-season barley, oat, triticale and wheat varieties,” Mr Newell said.

“These dual-purpose crops give mixed farming systems the ability to produce forage to fill feed gaps and can be harvested for grain.

“DPI’s research into perennial wheat, which has been bolstered with the injection of new lines from the United States, aims to fortify farming systems with new dual purpose crops.”

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Research results and speakers from NSW DPI at the conference will include:

  • Drone technology to monitor pasture quality and biomass -Dr Anthony Clark,
  • Lamb growth rate and meat quality – Dr David Hopkins
  • Potential benefits from pelvic assessments of Merino ewes – Dr Gordon Refshauge
  • Facts on fertilisers and soil treatments to boost pasture production – Neil Griffiths

Grassland Society of NSW president, David Harbison, said insights from local producers would provide food for thought.

“Livestock producers are adapting management strategies to meet feed demands in their animal production systems in variable climatic and market conditions.

“Grazing options for improved pasture and native species can help producers better meet feed demand and tailor production system to get the most from their resource base,” he said.

The 30th Grassland Society of NSW conference will be held at the Cowra Services Club, with the full program and registration details available online, http://grasslandnsw.com.au/news/?page_id=7

Source: NSW DPI.

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