Livestock

Forums to deliver timely tips

By Country News

Sheep producers across northern Victoria and the Riverina can access timely tips and tools to tailor flock management to seasonal conditions at the It’s Ewe Time! forums this week.

The half-day forums will deliver practical information designed to increase producer awareness and provide take-home tips on the principles, practices and tools of sheep enterprise profitability and productivity.

A joint initiative of Meat & Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovation, the forums are part of the flagship Making More From Sheep program, and provide producers with direct access to industry experts.

The forums are on Tuesday, February 26 at Birchip Community Leisure Centre, followed by Wednesday, February 27 at Deniliquin RSL Club and Thursday, February 28 at Benalla Town Hall.

Topics include the sheepmeat and wool outlook, maximising ewe performance, winning with weaners, making money from measuring, sheep health and dry time decision making.

AgriPartner Consulting principal livestock consultant Hamish Dickson said despite high feed costs, the current market conditions for sheepmeat and wool meant in many situations producers could justify continuing to supplementary feed their stock.

‘‘Even though dry or drought conditions are continuing in many sheep production areas, there are still many producers considering what level of production they’re aiming for, rather than just feeding stock for survival,’’ he said.

‘‘Goal setting and target setting is a really important first step and that’s what the ‘Maximising ewe performance’ session will start with.

‘‘If you have clear targets about the level of production you’re aiming for, guided by the cost-benefit of supplementary feeding, then we can start to get into more strategic decisions and priorities for identifying ewes we want to sell or keep, using both historical data and tools such as pregnancy scanning.

‘‘Nutrition and management of pregnant and lactating ewes are both crucial factors in maximising ewe and lamb survival, as well as the lifetime productivity of the ewe and her progeny.

‘‘In terms of management, we will look at a range of tools including target condition scores throughout pregnancy and how to cost-effectively meet nutrition requirements.’’

The cost is $35 per person, which includes a forum booklet, morning tea and lunch. The forums run from 8.30am to 12.50pm, followed by an informal lunch with speakers.

■To register and for more information, visit: www.makingmorefromsheep.com.au/events or phone 1800 070 099.