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Emily King
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Sheep CRC: EID technology for sheep more affordable

Posted by Bestprac on Aug 05 2012

Sheep CRC Press release

Advances in electronic identification (EID) systems are making precision management of sheep even more simple and affordable.

Nathan Scott, consultant with Mike Stevens & Associates based in Victoria, said producers don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve the benefits of EID for their sheep operation.

“New hardware options have become available in recent months from a number of companies which mean complex EID tasks can be undertaken with a bare minimum of equipment. Almost anything can be achieved with a handheld reader and a manual weighing crate,” Mr Scott said.

“The key to designing your system is knowing what information you want from EID and only spending the money you need to achieve these outcomes.

“We now have a number of handheld readers that are capable of having data uploaded to them before you head into the yards. This makes it possible to identify individual animals for drafting based on data using only the stick reader.

“More expensive equipment like auto drafters are very useful, but they are not necessary for an effective EID system. Producers may wish to invest in this kind of equipment for higher stock throughput and labour efficiency once they have an EID system in place,” he said.

Independent advice on equipment and a well-planned approached to an EID system is now available to producers, through the course ‘Using eID for Sheep Management and Breeding’ being rolled out in NSW and Victoria in the coming months.

The course, developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC), is available through a number of licensed training providers. It is gaining momentum in NSW, with 31 producers participating in four groups so far this year. Another group of 11 is part way through the course and there are three more groups waiting to start.

Wellington stud breeder Norm Smith, Glenwood Merinos, recently completed the course through NSW TAFE as a part of his involvement with the SRS Group.

“At Glenwood we have been pedigreeing for seven years, and collecting data for more than 20 years but there is always more to learn,” Mr Smith said.

“The more data you collect, the more you have to manage and analyse and this is where the training is invaluable.

“If you decide to go down the EID track, you can make a lot of mistakes at first if you don’t go through the proper training and get advice on correctly setting up your system.

“There is a raft of EID products on the market and the course will help you understand what equipment you need to achieve your objectives, as well as the right management software and tips on analysing and using the data on farm. The course helps to ensure that you capture the benefits from the capital outlay.”

‘Using eID for Sheep Management and Breeding’ is an intensive course, delivered through three face-to-face group sessions on farm, followed by a one-on-one session with the course facilitator to ensure that the outcomes are customised to your individual requirements.

Start dates depend on group sizes and expression of interest.



Last changed: Aug 06 2012



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