Around the Camp: lamb marking, field day, lambing planner app, State Sheep Show & wool harvesting updates deep dive

  1. Quick picks: lamb marking, field day ahead, lambing planner app, achievements in wool & State Sheep Show.
  2. Deep dive – wool harvesting updates & keeping your clip clean
  3. Upcoming events
  4. Podcasts, eBulletins and surveys

Quick picks

Lamb marking: If you are approaching lamb marking, now might be the time to refresh your skills in wet and drying udders. Udder assessment helps you identify breeding ewes that successfully lambed and reared from those that have failed. Culling dry ewes or those that have lambed and lost can improve the reproductive efficiency of your flock. Check out this video from NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and this NSW DPI fact sheet for explanations on how to wet and dry ewes.

Field day not to miss:  Come to Beaconsfield, Ilfracombe, on Wednesday 12 June for a day at one of the Making Maidens Weight producer demonstration sites. Dr Gordon Refshauge (NSW DPI) will demonstrate how to wet and dry udders and body condition score ewes. Sheep handlers, NLIS accredited electronic identification (eID) tag companies, eID readers and much more will be on display. This field day is free to attend but please register here for catering purposes. Have a read of last month’s Around the Camp deep dive article ‘incorporating tech into your yards’ to get into the headspace for the day!

Lambing planner app updated! The Lambing Planner is a great tool that allows sheep producers to adjust the joining or lambing date and see the flow-on effect to key management activities throughout the management calendar. Head to your app store and update the app to access the improved functionality. You’ll get detailed information, be able to save and share plans and receive notifications of upcoming tasks. Head to this webpage for more information.

Celebrating achievements in wool: Past North & Central West committee member Jodi Axford was recently awarded the Dr Jim Watts Memorial Medal. The medal acknowledges Jodi’s skill in marketing sheep and wool in the challenging environment of western Queensland and her contributions to the wool industry and Winton community. Congratulations Jodi! Click here to read more.

    Ewe-niquely Genetics, a podcast by Sheep Genetics: Are you interested in understanding the genetics that drive the Australian sheep industry? MLA Sheep Genetics have produced a podcast series bringing you the insights from key personalities, scientists and breeders in the industry. Episode 1 takes you back to the beginning of Sheep Genetics, featuring guest speaker Rob Banks. Have a listen here.

    State Sheep Show – Blackall: There was something for every woolgrower or wool enthusiast at this year’s State Sheep Show, hosted by Barcoo Pastoral Society. Nearly 70 sheep were penned up for judging, an impressive 188 fleeces were displayed in the wool court, the working dog auctions drew a big crowd and the AWI Runway 101 Kit was showcased in an afternoon fashion parade. Sheep and wool results have been published by Queensland Country Life.

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    Deep dive – wool harvesting updates & keeping your clip clean

    Following the Fleece Forward 2024 Leading Sheep Forum in March, Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) ran a Wool Forum and WoolClip Workshop for woolgrowers, classers and others working in the industry. Some of the key messages were:


    • Since July 2023 all new wool packs imported into Australia have contained eBale technology.
    • The technology will streamline information transfer from property to warehouse to transport to processors, enhancing traceability and biosecurity outcomes.
    • Each eBale contains a unique number stored in a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip and QR code. Wool data is captured using the WoolClip app and website and transmitted via the eBale technology, enhancing efficiency and accuracy of information transfer throughout the supply chain.
    • Old wool packs can still be used while the industry transitions to eBales over the next 12 to 18 months.


    • Electronic wool classing (i.e. WoolClip) reduces errors in recording, saves time and speeds up data transfer.
    • Wool books, consignments, wool classer specifications and National Wool Declarations can be created via WoolClip with the ability to add numerous team members to the job.
    • The consensus from classers and growers who attended the workshop was that WoolClip is easy to use, logical and has the benefit of being able to prepare mobs in the wool book ahead of time.

    Fill out your National Wool Declaration (NWD)

    • The NWD is a way for growers to communicate with buyers along the supply chain and gives buyers confidence in the wool they are purchasing.
    • Wool sold as Not Declared (ND) receives a discount across a broad range of microns. It is financially advantageous to complete the NWD and declare your wool regardless of your mulesing status.
    • Don’t forget to sign and date your NWD, otherwise the mulesing status will not be shown on the sale catalogue or test certificate which can reduce the competitiveness of your wool at auction.
    • Work with your wool broker to ensure your wool attracts the best price possible.

    Keep your clip clean (Image by AWEX)

    The Australian wool industry has long been recognised for providing a high-quality wool clip to global customers. This reputation is built on the commitment of growers and shed staff to keeping the wool clip contamination free. Not only does contamination damage wool processing equipment and reduce the quality of woollen products, but it can reduce the competitiveness of your clip due to buyer dissatisfaction.

    Contamination prevention is a collective responsibility. The owner/manager, wool classer, presser, shearers and shed staff are all responsible for preventing clip contamination. Here are some simples steps you can take to minimise risk of contamination:

    • Conduct a shed inspection and have a conversation before shearing starts so all shed staff are aware of their role in preventing contamination.
    • Ensure clothing and footwear aren’t at risk of entering wool bins and bales.
    • Keep the shed clean and tidy so extra wool packs, tools, bale hooks, fasteners etc. are not at risk of falling into wool bins.
    • Keep cigarette butts, cans, bottles and food packaging outside.
    • Keep other animals – dogs, goats, cats and birds – out of the shed to avoid hair and feather contamination.
    • Clearly label rubbish bins and keep away from wool preparation areas.
    • Cover wool bales and bins at the end of each day to avoid overnight contamination.

    For more information, see the AWEX Code of Practice & March 2024 Beyond the Bale. This article was written by DAF extension officer Millie Sheales.

    Upcoming events

    • 3-4 June. Business EDGE, Longreach. Delivered by Bush Agribusiness. For more details or to register, click here.
    • 6-7 June. Business EDGE, Cunnamulla. Delivered by Bush Agribusiness. For more details or to register, click here.
    • 7 June. Farmer First Aid Training, Muttaburra. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 8 June. Farmer First Aid Training, Isisford. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 10 June. Boost Your Farm Office Skills, Miles & Taroom. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 11-13 June. Enhance Your Business and Social Media Skills, Morven, Charleville, Quilpie & Toompine. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 11 June. NLIS Workshop, Augathella. Delivered by DAF. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 12 June. NLIS Workshop, Charleville. Delivered by DAF. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 12 June. Maidens, Measurement & Merch Field Day, Beaconsfield Ilfracombe. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 13 June. What’s Your Plan? Workshop, Bollon. Delivered by DAF. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 21 June. Farmer First Aid Training, Barcaldine. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 25-26 July. Ag Innovation Expo. Delivered by GroWQ. For more information and to register, click here.
    • 12-14 August. Breeding EDGE, Longreach. Delivered by Désirée Jackson Livestock Management. For more information and to register, click here.

    Podcasts, eBulletins and surveys

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