Technology takes centre stage at Wagga sheep industry forum | Photos

WITH buoyant prices for replacement sheep, prime lambs and wool those in the industry have demonstrated an enthusiasm to learn about the latest in research and development.

About 130 people attended the sheep industry research forum hosted by the Graham Centre in Wagga. 

The forum featured presentations from NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the industry.

Graham Centre Director Professor Michael Friend said, It was great to see so many producers and farm advisers from across the region.

“The program highlighted research and innovation throughout the supply chain and the feedback was that more than 80 per cent of producers attending, plan to make changes to their businesses after hearing the presentations,” he said. 

The sheep forum began with discussion from the Sheep Cooperative Research Centre’s (CRC) Bruce Hancock and NSW DPI research scientist Dr Stephanie Fowler about current research to develop technology to provide processors and producers with objective measurement of lamb carcass traits.

DPI research officer Dr Edward Clayton also spoke about his work into omega-3 in meat.

Keynote speaker at the forum Bruce Hancock from the Sheep Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) outlined research across the supply chain to build the industry’s capacity to deliver a good eating experience for consumers.

“The Australian lamb and sheepmeat industry is strongly consumer focused and responds to meat quality market signals and feedback sent down the supply chain,” Mr Hancock said.

“For the past two and half decades we (the lamb industry) have been trading on weight and fat in terms of value based marketing,” Mr Hancock said.

The use of drones on farm to map pasture growth, muster sheep and even monitor livestock behaviour was outlined by Ben Watts of Bralca Consulting. “I see drones as a farm tool that can be used for remote monitoring that can give us timely information,” Mr Watts said.