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ARTICLES >> Livestock Articles

‘Helping Woolgrowers make Decisions’ Forum at Hay Shear Outback

Posted by Bestprac on Jun 03 2014

By Sally Ware, Riverina Local Land Services, Hay

Local landholders combined with students from Charles Sturt University and University of Sydney to attend a forum held in the woolshed at Shear Outback recently.

Organised by Professor Peter Wynn from Charles Sturt University and Sally Ware from Riverina Local Land Services in Hay, the day focused on the seasonal rainfall outlook, nutritional management of stock in the rangelands in dry conditions and then the current international wool marketing strategies.

Wool growers at the event- image courtesy of Alix McFarlandUsing Australian Wool Innovation funds, supplied by the program Bestprac, the aim was to provide an information day to the landholders that have been experiencing an extended period of dry conditions. Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) also sponsored over 50 students from Sydney and Charles Sturt universities to attend the seminar as part of their annual wool focus study tour of the Riverina. The students included post graduates from Lesotho in South Africa as well as Vietnam.

Climate Applications Research Officer with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in Wagga Wagga, Michael Cashen spoke about the enormous variability of rain in the district and the general contraction of autumn and spring rainfall. Whilst it is still too early to predict this season, his take home message was to keep a watch on the outlook, as it is likely that El Nino conditions will develop in the Pacific, in early spring, but the impact maybe modulated by conditions in the Indian Ocean.

Pastoral nutrition specialist, San Jolly, from Productive Nutrition, Clare, SA spoke about the limitations of nutrition in the rangelands, particularly in a dry year, for reproductive performance in ewes. “One of your key profit drivers is your surplus sheep sales hence you need high lambing and weaning percentages. Usually, dry conditions in the rangelands will not sustain ewes in late pregnancy and during lactation and without some extra feeding, high wastage may occur” she said.

DPI Rural Support Worker, Danny Byrnes, and Hay Rural Financial Counsellor, Darren Macartney, spoke about the new drought declaration process and the assistance that is available now and after a declaration. Danny emphasised the fact that the low rainfall pattern in the Hay district is starting to trigger a drought declaration but that the process has only just started. NSW DPI also provided a bbq lunch for all seminar participants.

Rob Langtry, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer with Australian Wool Innovation, provided two beautiful 17 micron wool scarves to be handed out as lucky door prizes to the audience. His presentation outlined the marketing strategies for wool and included many Woolmark campaign clips that are currently being shown to targeted audiences around the world.

Landholders seeking further details about the forum can contact Sally Ware at the Hay Riverina Local Land Services Office ph:  0429307627; or email her here

Last changed: Jun 04 2014

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