Rural Review: Lifetime Ewe Group

System improvements: The Lifetime Ewe Group covered a diverse range of management systems, including vineyards, cropping and grazing enterprises with a variety of ewes including merinos, dohne’s and corriedales.
System improvements: The Lifetime Ewe Group covered a diverse range of management systems, including vineyards, cropping and grazing enterprises with a variety of ewes including merinos, dohne’s and corriedales.

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Six Barossa based producers have recently completed a Lifetime Ewe Course, each making significant changes within their production system to improve their overall on-farm increases.

The group covered a diverse range of management systems, including vineyards, cropping and grazing enterprises with a variety of ewes including merinos, dohne’s and corriedales.

The group were also spread across the entire Barossa with properties ranging from Gomersal to Flaxmans Valley to Keyneton.

The course ran for a year, led by Daniel Schuppan, livestock consultant from Landmark, and involved practical elements including condition scoring ewes, pasture cuts and also theory sessions to help set targets and ensure the ewes were receiving correct nutrition.

The course allowed all participants to make improvements to their system as follows:

  • Understanding energy requirements which resulted in supplementary feeding the twin ewe mob earlier than normal which resulted in the best lamb survival rate recorded on the property at 77 per cent lamb survival rate.
  • Increase in lamb marking percentage to 114 per cent through condition scoring ewes and matching their condition to their energy requirements.
  • Understanding supplementary feeding requirements which has resulted in purchasing feeders to facilitate this. With the increase in lamb marking percentage, this is easily justified.
  • Slightly increasing Food on Offer to the Lifetime Ewe mob gave an increase of 26 per cent lamb marking percentage compared to other grown sheep on the same property.
  • Ensuring good nutrition to the Lifetime Ewe mob resulted in an increase in performance of lambs, which were growing an average of 320 grams per day.
  • Working closely with the stock agent to target the market and understand where the best fit is. 

The group will continue to meet in the future to continue benchmarking and working together to improve this system.

If you are interested in attending a Lifetime Ewe Productivity Group email georgie.keynes@biggroup.org.au

With thanks to the Barossa Improved Grazing Group for this information.