BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB conference videos
2019 conference presentations
Greg and Jo Bear, from Loddon Vale in north central Victoria, outline what they did to make their farming business more profitable and all the family partners of the work together harmoniously to achieve their goals and personal interests.
Paul Kenyon, from Massey University, outlines the changes that have occurred in New Zealand to change the genetic and production profile of the New Zealand lamb industry – and what might apply to the Victorian sheep industry.
Scott Nicholson, farmer and Nuffield scholar from Stawell Victoria, challenge the audience to understand what drives your (sheep) business profitability and then to find and integrate technology to enhance your business
Cam Nicholson challenges the audience on balancing reward and risk – you can’t have one without the other.
Michael Crowley, MLA, presents the value and market chain opportunities and challenges for the lamb industry.
Anne Ramsey presents on the merino Lifetime Productivity project, initial results and how this will improve merino selection into the future.
Paul Kenyon, Massey University NZ, presents on the challenges that present from increasing reproduction rates and outlines the current best practice guidelines for triplet bearing ewes to maximise performance.
Lisa Warn presents the options for boosting winter growth to achieve late winter/spring pasture and the tools and triggers to achieve best results.
Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural, discusses the main summer and winter weeds and their value (or not) to livestock.
Andrew Whale, Livestock Logic, discusses the principles of winter saving pastures and the results of on-farm demonstrations and how the economics stack up.
2018 conference presentations
The 2018 Bestwool/Bestlamb conference was another significant event for the sheep industry with over three hundred delegates filling the main conference room and popular concurrent sessions. If you missed a session or would like to hear any again, most conference presentations are available at the links below.
- The challenge of taking on new technologies
Anna Speer, CEO of AuctionsPlus, challenges farmers to take on change and new technologies. She discusses the development of AuctionsPlus and her keys for success.
- Capturing the potential of our farming system
- Recovery from natural disaster
- For sheep and wool markets – These are the best of times, but will they continue?
Gundy and Lisa Anderson, from Bog Roy Station in New Zealand, walk through their journey of turning an ‘unviable’ farm into a profitable one whilst also addressing increasing environmental and social requirements of farming in New Zealand.
Troy and Nette Fisher discuss the loss of stock and pastures in a devastating bushfire and their subsequent recovery and rebuild.
Robert Herrmann, from Mecardo, reviews the current market conditions and provides insights into challenges that farmers may face to maintain profitability.
- Analysing the economic performance of Victorian livestock
- Barber's pole worm – Learnings from the New England
- Arthritis and pneumonia in sheep
- Wool Q – The new wool industry portal
- DNA flock profiling and ram team management – Unlock your genetic potential
- Sheep breeding equivalents for pasture species
- Applying the lessons from lifetime maternal trials
- Sheep breeding equivalents for legumes
- Managing triplet dams and their lambs
- Feed assessment guides – Tools to determine grazing strategies for cropping livestock systems
- Fitbits for farm animals – The next tool for livestock producers
- Improving lamb survival by optimising lamb density
Paul Deane, from Agriculture Victoria, discusses the economic performance of livestock farming in Victoria from the Livestock Farm Monitor Project.
Lewis Kahn, from UNE Armidale, outlines the lifecycle of Barbers Pole worm and control practices to manage this parasite that has been increasing its presence in Victoria recently.
Dr Joan Lloyd, consultant from NSW, talks on the incidence and causes of arthritis in sheep, particularly in relation to tail docking length and pneumonia.
Will Wilson from Wool Q, outlines the new wool portal including background to its development, functionality and how farmers and other wool industry players in the supply chain will be able to use it.
Lucinda Hogan, Sheep CRC explains how DNA flock profiling can provide keys to the current genetic status of your merino ewe flock and opportunities for improvement and ram selection. Lu also outlines how RamSelect can be used to optimize ram selection across breeds.
Andrew Speirs, consultant with Meridian, explains how national pasture variety trials can assist farmers make decisions on what pasture species to sew (based on seasonal production and persistence) for their environment.
Tim Leeming, producer and consultant from Pigeon Ponds, outlines his system for optimising ewe and lamb performance by using single cycle mating.
Alan Humphries, South Australia, outlines legume (clovers and Lucerne) varieties and attributes to assist farmers make decisions on legume species selection for their environment.
Georgina Gubbins, producer at Allensford and Jason Trompf, consultant, outline current information, learnings and experience for successful managing of triplet bearing dams and their lambs.
Some feed assessment tools have been developed by farmer groups to specifically help farmers in the mixed farming zones manage grazing systems. Alison Frischke, Birchip Cropping Group outlines their guide for grazing crops and David Drage (with Steve Cotton) from BestwoolBestlamb group outline their FOO guide for crops in the low/medium rainfall environment.
Rajineet Sohi, LaTrobe University, follows on from last year’s presentation on using smart sensors, to outline current research on the use of these sensors to monitor sheep movement that could help address a range of management issues.
Amy Lockwood, Murdoch University, outlines research results on the role and guidelines for mob size in improving lamb survival.
2017 conference presentations
The 2017 Bestwool/Bestlamb conference was the biggest, and arguably the best, conference to date. Four hundred delegates – producers and service industry – packed the main conference room and filled all of the popular concurrent sessions.
If you missed a session or would like to hear any again, most conference presentations are available at the links below.
- Merino wool versus crossbred wool: A tale of two markets Chris Wilcox, Poimena Analysis, outlines the relative market drivers for fine wool and crossbred wool with reference to the retail and processing environment.
- Putting the pieces together at Jigsaw Farms
Mark Wootton, Jigsaw Farms, discusses the approach at JigSaw farms to their business objectives; production; risk management including climate and supply chain management. View the transcript here (WORD - 26.5 KB)
View the transcript here (WORD - 24.3 KB)
- Increasing the margins from lamb finishing James Male, farmer and Nuffield Scholar, outlines how he runs the lamb finishing enterprise on their farm including key learnings of what works and doesn't such as rations; animal genetics and cost structure.
View the transcript here (WORD - 24.6 KB)
- Hannah Marriott, farm manager and Nuffield Scholar, discusses how they use EID to make valuable farm decisions as well as some basic guides on accessing your tag information.
View the transcript here (WORD - 21.8 KB)
- Which ewe enterprise Kieran Ransom, (consultant) and John WebbWare, (Mackinnon Project) discuss the results of the Elmore ewe trial that compared a number of ewe enterprises for wool and lamb profitability and modelled over a range of Victorian locations.
View the transcript here (WORD - 22.4 KB)
- Managing self-replacing maternal systems John Keiller, composite Breeder, outlines what drives their system and key aspects that they monitor and aim to improve.
View the transcript here (WORD - 24.1 KB)
- The latest on the newly available footrot vaccine Bruce Jackson, DPI Tasmania, outlines the footrot vaccines that are now available, requirements and costs and use in an eradication program.
View the transcript here (WORD - 23.4 KB)
- Lifting production by oversowing with cereals Bindi Hunter, (Agriculture Victoria) and Tim Leeming, (producer) present results of a Producer Demonstration Site where they oversowed cereals into a degraded perennial pasture to improve overall production and the composition of the pasture.
View the transcript here (WORD - 22.9 KB)
- Young Farmers – getting a start and creating a great future Ken Solly, Consultant, challenges young farmers taking on the family farm.
- Shearing every six months – Pros and Cons Robert Herrmann, AgConcepts, outlines some of the pros and cons of shearing every six months
View the transcript here (WORD - 19.8 KB)
- Sensing the future – using smart sensors in future sheep enterprises Rajineet Sohi, LaTrobe University, presents on his project that is using smart sensors in the sheep industry to gain key information such as matching lambs to dams and other potential health and welfare measures.
View the transcript (WORD - 21.6 KB)
View the transcript here (WORD - 24.7 KB)
2016 keynote presentations
- Conference dinner – "Are we prepared?"
Dr Charles Milne, CVO with Agriculture Victoria, discusses his experience in dealing with Foot and Mouth outbreaks in the UK and the lessons for us in preparedness and the consequences.
- Classing up the opportunities for sheep
Georgia Twomey, senior analyst with Rabobank, presents on the opportunities and market implications for the sheep industry.
- Building resilience
John Mulvany, OMJ consulting, discusses key aspects of resilience in farm businesses based on experience as a consultant in the dairy industry, but relevance to the sheep industry.
- Designing sheep fit for purpose
Mark Ferguson, New Zealand Merino, outlines the importance of and the strategies for breeding the 'right' sheep for the business with reference to work being done in New Zealand.
- Getting motivated – Making change
Nathan Scott, Achieve Ag Solutions, challenges you to use what you learn.
- What worms where
Robert Suter, Agriculture Victoria, navigates the insides of a sheep to show what worms live where, and the impacts they have on sheep health.
- Managing sheep worms
Andrew Whale discusses the need to monitor worm burdens and use the wormboss website for local and general worm management strategies
- The role of fibre in the sheep diet
Jim Gibbs from Lincoln University in New Zealand explains the science behind the role and need for fibre in the sheep diet and so when and if additional fibre is required.
- Land tenure options – Getting in /getting out of farming
Duncan Ashby, Ashby and Co., outlines options for getting in or out of farming looking at lease and contract farming models.
- Managing the tail end lambs
McKenzie Craig, (lamb producer) with Kristy Howard as co-ordinator of the BWBL group, discuss how they identified and managed tail end lambs to imporve options and profit for the farm business.
2015 conference videos
Key presentations from the 2015 BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB conference can be viewed by clicking the links below.
- Jason Trompf, Chairman of Networks advisory committee - BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB summarises the event program and highlights
- Transforming the farm with smart technology
Shane Carter, ZI ARGUS outlines the technology that can make Agriculture 'the coolest profession on earth'
- Embracing change on-farm
John Ramsay, sheep producer from Bothwell, Tasmania; talks about the key things he used to embrace some major changes on their farm, as part of the MLA Challenge
- Flock dynamics and future opportunities
Jason Trompf challenges producers to achieve potential from the ewe base – "For ewes to thrive – Do the 5"
- What are the 'odds' of a boom or bust spring – Using climate prediction tool effectively
Graeme Anderson, Climate Extension Specialist from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources presented to a captive audience on how to use seasonal forecasting tools effectively."
- Pasture variety selection
Andrew Speirs, Meridian Agriculture, talks about selection of perennial pasture species referring to results of MLA pasture variety trials.
- All things sheep feet - Footrot, the disease
John WebbWare, Mackinnon Project, covers footrot, the disease and getting the right diagnosis.
- All things sheep feet -Eradication program
Jack Briscoe, livestock contractor, talks about key aspects of a successful footrot eradication program.
- The lowdown on lime
Jim Shovelton, Meridian Agriculture, covers all the 'need to know' on using lime on pastures.
- Unbalanced mineral intake in pregnant ewes grazing cereals
David Masters, Murdoch University WA discusses his investigation into the benefits and problems of unbalanced minerals in pregnant ewes grazing cereals.
- Lifetime Ewe Management App - A Farmer's Perspective
Edward Blackwell, a sheep producer from Dunkeld, Victoria, discusses the benefits of using the Lifetime Ewe Management App on farm.
- Pregnancy scanning – making it pay
Scott Howell a producer from Avoca, Victoria, gives an insight into how pregnancy scanning effects his bottom line. Lee Beattie of Beattie Consulting Services discusses the benefits of pregnancy scanning - in terms of both productivity and profitability.
- Key tips for training working dogs
Ian O'Connell a dog breeder and trainer from Casterton covers the key tips for training working dogs.
- What the Top Farmers do well consistently
"Top 20% of producers are earning more than 3x as much the average producers. They grow more grass and they use it well" Paul Blackshaw, Senior Farm Business Economist from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources presents on what the top farmers do consistently well -what's behind the figures.
- High performing maidens
Andrew Kennedy, Sheep Industry Specialist from the department discusses the keys to getting performance from maiden (lambs and hoggets) ewes.
- Defining management targets for crossbred ewes to drive productivity
Andrew Thompson from Murdoch University outlines some of the early results from a project looking at management targets for crossbred ewes.
- Managing yourself and your business when swimming against the tide
Ken Solly, consultant from S.A, talks about managing the people side of the farming business when times get tough. - "it's not about how high you fly, but how well you bounce".
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