NSW shearing industry day will showcase technology

Sheep Central June 7, 2017

CURRENT and future shearing technology will be discussed at a New South Wales workshop near Dubbo on June 16.

ShearEzy upright shearing technology being demonstrated at the National Merino Challenge.

Wool growers, shearers, engineers and contractors are invited to attend the shearing industry day being held by Australian Wool Innovation to help guide the future of wool harvesting.

AWI said the event will examine the latest knowledge and innovation around the current technologies and ask the vital question of “what next”?

Participants will review and discuss current shearing alternatives such as upright shearing alongside related issues such as shearing shed design, workplace health and safety, human resources, retro-fitting woolsheds and mobile shearing technology.

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AWI agenda to investigate shearing options

AWI chief executive officer Stuart McCullough recently stated the AWI board is keen to look for technological opportunities that can make wool harvesting significantly easier and more efficient.

Sheep Central recently reported that AWI is set to undertake a major strategic research direction change to address rapidly rising wool harvesting costs and the largest single on-farm direct expense for wool growers – shearing.

Increased long-term expenditure on alternative shearing research and technology transfer by AWI is expected following recent statements by AWI chairman Wal Merriman to use savings achieved in a recent round of staff redundancies to explore alternatives to the manual shearing of sheep.

Only about 10pc of AWI’s annual $2.2 million harvesting investment portfolio is currently spent on alternatives to manual shearing and in-shed sheep handling, but shearing costs are rising faster than efficiency gains from in-shed shearer training.

AWI shearing industry development manager Jim Murray said shearing is celebrated as a great Australian profession and has been the backbone of the industry since it started.

“AWI trains more than 3000 shearers and wool handlers in-shed every year to try to make the process as efficient as possible.

“But with the advent of the digital age, we need to keep looking for new opportunities to make this monumental task easier for both shearer, sheep and wool grower and this is what this event will discuss.”

The workshop will be held in the Savannah Room at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Obley Road, Dubbo on June 16 from 9am-4:40pm.

Shearing technology workshop program

9am         Registration

9:30am   Welcome & outline

Introduction. Define why all are here and the aim of the day

9:45am    Current alternatives

Users and/or designers of alternative wool harvesting methods. Pros and cons, and possible solutions/recommendations in an adoptable method of wool harvesting. Other concerns or opinions.

10:45am   Morning tea

11am         Shed designs

Woolshed designer/builder addressing the major issues. Other concerns or opinions related to bettering workplace health and safety in wool harvesting.

Noon         Wool growers’ insight

Woolgrowers who have recently built new woolsheds which both differ in design; look at the reasons for these design decisions. Any other concerns in addressing the major topics of the day.

12:20pm    Shearers’ insight

Workplace health and safety issues created with traditional shearing practices and what the industry needs to be considering when looking at developing and innovating wool harvesting methods.

1pm             Lunch

1:40pm       Shearing contractors’ view

Perspectives as shearing contractors on the major issues they are experiencing. Considerations in regards to design and innovation of wool harvesting methods.

2:20pm      Workshop scoping

Collaborative workshop session with speakers spread around to share input). Tables collaborate and prepare a presenter from each table to define opinions about the ‘why’ we are here and the aim of the day in addressing the major issues.

3pm            Afternoon tea

3:15pm      Workshop summary

Continue collaborative workshop session. Final preparation and presenters from each table speak.

4:15pm      Conclusion & next steps.

Brief recap, summary, next steps & thanks.

4:30pm      Close.


  • People wanting to attend the workshop or get information should contact Jim Murray at [email protected]




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