Get in on the action at Australia’s top lamb event

All sectors of the sheep industry will converge on Albury for LambEx 2016 from August 10 to 12 2016 to celebrate all that is great about Australian sheep and lambs in one action-packed event.

As major sponsor of the conference, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has worked with the sheep industry to develop a compelling program for the 900 plus delegates.

DPI livestock research officer, Gordon Refshauge, said places were still available for those interested in hearing from national and international sheep industry specialists.

“Local producers will be interested to hear research on how farm profits can be boosted by grazing cereal crops with sheep,” Dr Refshauge said.

“We will be providing insights to improving animal performance, resting pastures at critical stages and explore the associated risks.

“Cereal crops provide imbalanced amounts of minerals which can reduce the growth potential of weaner lambs and increase metabolic disease in pregnant and lambing ewes, so salt, calcium and magnesium supplements are necessary.

“Problems don’t always occur and we are working to gain a better understanding of the factors which make the situation more or less risky for animals including soil fertility, mineral content of the forage and the animal’s demand for mineral nutrition.

“Our findings reinforce the mantra that minerals are a form of cheap insurance.”

DPI livestock management technical specialist, Phil Graham, said climate modelling scenarios have been used to examine future sheep breeding directions.

“Lamb carcase weights have increased in the past 20 years and now is the time to assess breeding directions in the light of future climate impacts on pasture systems and market specifications,” Mr Graham said.

“A clash between on-farm profitability per hectare and market requirements is foreseen unless weight specification continues to increase.

“High mature ewe weight is a concern for the industry as heavier ewes can come at the cost of higher maternal feed and labour requirements.”

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