WHITE Suffolk breeders will review the latest in on-farm technology and tour innovative agricultural businesses during the breed’s annual conference in South Australia next week.
The 2019 Australian White Suffolk Association conference on February 10-13 at Robe Institute, Robe, South Australia will be opened by Sheep Producers Australia immediate past president Allan Piggott on February 11.
Mr Piggott will be followed by Victorian prime lamb consultant Nathan Scott, Achieve Ag Solutions, Inverleigh, and a presentation by Zoetis.
South Australian livestock industry consultants Penny Schulz and Dan Hayes, will outline apps, monitoring systems and surveillance cameras for sheep producers, while Scott de Bruin will give an insight to the award-winning restaurant and live export business run by Millicent’s Mayura Station Wagyu.
Sky Seafoods owner Andrew Lawrie will take delegates ‘outside the square’ during an on-farm visit to his live lobster exporter and seafood outlet, and to the multi-award winning coffee roasters, Mahalia Coffee, of Robe. Mr Lawrie said lamb and seafood marketing shared similiarities in the need to supply markets with a quality export product.
Guest speakers on the second day will give updates on processing technology in the lamb industry and there will be a LAMBPLAN update with Sheep Genetics senior development officer Peta Bradley.
Tim Leeming will speak on his family’s composite maternal seedstock business, Paradoo Prime, at Coojar in western Victoria. Paradoo uses the high performance terminal genes of the White Suffolk, with production focused on muscle, moderate frame size, genetic fat and eating quality.
The conference will conclude with the annual general meeting and a dinner at the Robe Golf Club featuring guest speaker Jackie Bateman.
The conference is expected to draw 80 AWSFA delegates from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. It will also be open to commercial producers, industry stakeholders and members of the public who have registered to attend.
Australian White Suffolk Association president Anthony Hurst claimed the breed had cemented its position as the number one terminal sire in the country during 2018.
“If we look at show results, the breed has performed well, taking out many major championships while $43,000 was the top price for stud rams in 2018 achieved at the Adelaide Royal for the champion ram,’’ Mr Hurst said.
“Flock ram sale averages have been very good and achieving good clearances in southern areas but obviously the drought in northern areas took a toll on clearance rates across the whole industry.
“In the commercial sector, White Suffolk lambs topped the market, setting new national records, plus making high prices over the hooks – White Suffolks have certainly had a fantastic year as a breed.’’