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Showcasing innovation to the merino industry


June 7, 2017

Feed supplements, genetic technology and future Merino production system challenges will be all under the spotlight when growers from across the nation gather for the MerinoLink Conference on June 21.

To be held at Mercure Goulburn from 8am-5pm, the conference will be followed by a field day on June 22 at Gunning showcasing the revolutionary upright shearing platform.

Conference co-ordinator and MerinoLink CEO Sally Martin said all members of the wool and sheep meats supply chain were welcome, with the conference program aimed at providing the latest in industry information and research.

Ms Martin said commercial producers would hear how MerinoLink research project outcomes could be incorporated in their enterprise to lift profitability.

“There will be plenty of tips and tricks on using the new technologies available in the market place,’’ she said.

“Speakers will be also looking at the additional profit and genetic gain to be made from using electronic identification.“And, pasture is not forgotten with trends in pasture genetic improvement to be covered.

“This event has now grown into one of the major industry events on the calendar for growers wanting to add to their knowledge bank and increase productivity.’’

Keynote speaker, Meat and Livestock Australia managing director Richard Norton, will outline how levies are being invested in Merino production supply chain.

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody will set the scene for the wool industry with an insightful talk on the truth behind the wool market.

Riverina sheep producer and 2017 RIRDC Rural Women of the Year, Sandra Ireson, of Hay, will cover programs aimed at fostering agricultural careers for young people.

The newly unveiled ASKBILL web-based program developed by the Sheep Co-operative Research Centre will be explained by Lu Hogan. The tool predicts pasture growth, animal performance and risks of flystrike, worm infection and weather stress.

A joint project between MerinoLink and Charles Sturt University evaluating the cost and production benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements will be covered, along with genetic technology and the use of genomics at a commercial level.

NSW DPI technical specialist livestock systems Phil Graham will round out the afternoon sessions with future Merino production system challenges, along with the answer to the debate around the best sheep type for a combination of prime lamb and wool production from speaker Kieran Ransom, Bendigo, Vic.

An upright shearing platform developed by southern NSW woolgrower Grant Burbidge will be a highlight of the MerinoLink field day at “Merrill’’, Gunning, from 9am to noon on June 22.

Designed to increase efficiency in the shed, the moulded fiberglass platform streamlines wool handling, with no dragging or bending putting less strain on the shearer, and increasing the efficiency of clip preparation.

There will also be trade displays of sheep handling equipment, wool broking, animal health and industry research, and demonstrations of ram selection for commercial breeders.

Master Australian storyteller Murray Hartin will be guest speaker at the MerinoLink dinner to be held at the Mercure Goulburn on June 21 from 6.30pm.

To register for the MerinoLink conference go to the MerinoLink website or contact Sally Martin on 0400 782 477 or Donna Cummins on 0407 273 225 or email