Case Studies

Higher Fleece Value

Peter & Toni Unger run a 2760ha mixed farming operation in the Central West of NSW. While cropping is their main enterprise, the self-replacing poll merinos also play an important part of the business. Peter felt that there was more money to be made out of tracking the individual performance of each animal.

Peter made contact with Anthony
Shepherd of Sheep Matters, to help with the journey of EID. Anthony worked together with Peter, fine tuning the primary issues of animal health and implemented programs to ensure that the right things were happening at the right time. Peter further fine-tuned his skills by doing a Life Time Ewe Management Program.

Peter started implementing the EID tags to his lamb drop of 2009. He soon realised that to be able to fully utilise the data collected, particularly in terms of fleece and fertility, he was going to need a software program.

Mountain View has now been using KoolCollect from Sapien  Technology since 2012. Using the data collected has enabled the business to make some adjustments to the classing and culling processes, and also allowed them to easily monitor the fertility of their ewes, and remove the non-performers.

The operation generally culls up to 35% of an 800 drop at 13 -14 months. Culling decisions are driven by wool data from a rump sample, which is used by the classer as part of his classing process. Not all of the animals identified by the classer for culling are culled. After shearing, once all the fleece weights and micron data have been collected, the ‘cull’ animals are reviewed, and any animal indicating a high (top25%) production value may be kept. Likewise, with the animals not marked culled, the data is reviewed and the bottom 10-15% may also be culled depending on numbers.

The addition of individual hard data to the traditional visual classing has allowed Peter to fine tune and streamline his classing operation, only keeping the more productive animals that will produce a better financial outcome for his sheep operation. He no longer worries about his sheep being ‘bad employees’.

The time taken to achieve the Mountain Views breeding goals has been shortened, by going down the EID path. KoolCollect has enabled them to easily analyse and utilise data so they only keep the top performers.

This also allows Peter to measure the success of his stud source. The operation has used a stud to bring down micron values and maintain fleece weights. Anthony and Peter believe the focus should now be on eye muscle data to produce an even higher production value animal.

Peter needs an animal that is low maintenance, high return and consistently producing progeny, to warrant livestock in his whole operation. Measurement is key in achieving this goal. Peter loves the challenge of reaching the ultimate goal of producing the best return per hectare for the whole of his farm business.

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