Research & Development

Sheep, dieback and technology covered in latest MLA podcast

Sheep Central, August 28, 2020

Cavendish Merino producers ussell and Ricky Luhrs feature in MLA’s latest podcast episode.

MEAT & Livestock Australia has released episode three of its Feedback podcast, with segments on genetic selection, on-farm research, pasture dieback, objective measurement technology and Olympians participating in MLA’s education program.

Improving flock profitability using genetic selection

Embracing genetics is a proven way to accelerate livestock productivity. That’s the message Victorian prime lamb and wool producer Ricky Luhrs took away from an on-farm trial he ran from 2015–17, where he used Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) to record increased weights, wool and turnoff time in his Victorian Merino and prime lamb flock. Hear about his experience in this interview, and learn how you can find the link between genetics and profit in your own operation. Ricky and his father Russell have used targeted genetic selections to improve profitability in their operation. You will also hear from MLA’s national adoption manager – genetics, Clara Bradford.

Producers have their say on MLA’s on-farm research projects

The MLA investment call invites researchers to submit proposals for funding to support on-farm research, development and adoption programs that benefit sheep meat and grass-fed beef producers. In this update, hear how 2020–21’s projects are being prioritised based on their potential to have the greatest impact on the industry, and what producers can expect from the call in 2021–22.

The is segment features Jane Kellock, a South Australian sheep producer and the chair of the Red Meat Panel, which provides strategic oversight over the investment call process.

Objective measurement technologies to drive industry profits

By 2040, it’s estimated that the adoption of objective measurement (OM) technologies could be worth more than $420 million dollars for the red meat industry. In this discussion, Associate Professor Dr Graham Gardner gives an update on industry adoption of OM technologies and how soon these benefits could start to flow through the supply chain.

This segment features Dr Graham Gardner, Associate Professor at Murdoch University and chief investigator of the ALMTech project. His work focuses on ensuring Australian meat value chains remain globally competitive through using advanced measurement technologies and integrated feedback systems.

Fighting the pasture dieback challenge

MLA is undertaking a coordinated response to tackling pasture dieback – a destructive condition causing profit losses across northern, central and south-east Queensland.

This segment features Greg Lawrence, a central Queensland producer who has firsthand experience in identifying and combating pasture dieback, with over 70 percent of one of his properties impacted by the condition. David Beatty is MLA’s group manager – productivity & animal wellbeing, and is well versed in all current research and outcomes on pasture dieback and what resources are available to producers now.

 Olympians and Paralympians tell the healthy red meat story

MLA’s Virtual Classroom program has been developed to improve teachers and students’ understanding of the Australian red meat and livestock industry. Two new education models are coming to the program in 2020 which focus on Australian beef’s role in a healthy lifestyle and balanced meal plan. In this discussion, hear about these new models, and how MLA is using Olympic and Paralympic athletes to engage students on a virtual level.

This segment features Lewis Holland, the Australian Rugby Sevens Vice-captain, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was also selected to compete at the 2020 Olympics before its postponement. Fiona Thompson is MLA’s community and industry engagement manager, who looks after the MLA’s Virtual Classroom program.

The new MLA Feedback bi-monthly podcast was launched earlier this year and is hosted by Australian media personality Ben Dobbin, and includes everything from red meat producers to policy makers and celebrity chefs to scientists.

The podcast provides MLA with an important channel to connect and engage with red meat producers and stakeholders.

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