This event is a CMBWBL and WMLIG joint initiative, made possible with funding from the Murray Local Land Services through the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme.
27-28th February 2018
Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) is a nationally accredited course involving groups of five producers and six 'hands-on' sessions over 12 months. It is structured to maximise knowledge retention, skills development and practice change. Each producer monitors a mob of their own ewes to demonstrate the effects of nutrition and management has in their environment.
Recently the Moulamein LTEM group met for their final workshops at "Billamein". This group has been typically well attended and true to form, 8 group members turn up to the day. Geoff Duddy (Sheep Solutions) facilitated the 4 hour workshop, focusing on the importance and 'how to' of condition scoring. Everyone tried their hand at a condition scoring (CS) exercise, with 7 scoring the sheep between 2.5 - 2.81 (av. 2.61). China Gibson was the outlier, scoring his sheep at 2.2. "It is not uncommon for the owner to be a bit savage on the attributes of his own sheep" reasoned Rick Ellis, LTEM co-ordinator. The group followed up on China's doubt and thoughts about the sheep falling in condition by conducting a 'fat score' assessment. This assessment is measured 10cm down on the second last long rib, the GR site for measuring fat depth on slaughter lambs. The fat score was 2.5, being lower than the CS which indicated that the sheep were on a rising plain and were not losing condition. This is a useful tool for assessing the direction that your sheep are actually heading, in terms of condition. The day finished with a round table discussion on each participant's farm, morning tea and an inspection of the "Billamein" EVORIL pasture site.
The two Wakool LTEM management groups have one session left to complete. Our intention is to complete these final sessions before the middle of September.
Background on the LIFETIME EWE MANAGEMENT program: Nationally LTEM participants are outperforming other participants. In Victoria, LTEM particpants improved the number of lambs weaned per hectare by 30% through increased ewe stocking rate, reduced ewe mortality and increased weaning rates. Locally, LTEM participants averaged 1.85 DSE/ha more and had a 8% higher weaning rate than non-LTEM producers. All participants claimed that the program:
increased awareness of ewe requirements
help match requirements to feed need
improved production outputs
helping with the decision-making process
Contact Central Murray Bestwool Bestlamb Coordinator Rick Ellisif you would like to participate in this program!