Case Studies

Save Time, Eliminate Mistakes

Glenwood is a Merino stud operation near Wellington NSW about an hour south-east of Dubbo. Owner Norm Smith runs the 7000 Acre property with one full time staffer managing just under 4000 head of SRS sheep consisting of 1,000 stud ewes and 3000
wethers. Norm also has 3000 commercial ewes that are managed on another property.

Norm is a fourth generation farmer on Glenwood with a business philosophy of staying in front of the industry through innovation.

Before buying KoolCollect and KoolPerform in 2011, Norm used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Pedigree Wizard to manage data for Sheep Genetics. The manual process of reading tags, writing down data and recording information in Excel was prone to error.

The adoption of EID for his stud operation plus KoolCollect and KoolPerform has meant that the reporting process for Sheep Genetics “takes a lot less time and is a lot simpler and easier. All of the data is now in one spot, making is easier to access all of the information for any individual animal.” Human errors have also been removed through the automated collection of animal IDs, weights and other attributes.

When it comes to joining, manual processes of identifying animals during classing using Excel have also been replaced. This has been critical in managing 700 ewes that are singly mated as well as 300 matings using Artificial Insemination. The classer can see all of the information about a ewe on one screen including weight, prior joinings, growth, fat and eye muscle depth and pedigree in KoolCollect. This eliminates brother over sister or father over daughter joinings and helps find the best corrective mates based on each animal’s attributes. Norm also uses an office based draft to help class wool ewes and frame ewes.

Sapien Technology’s PedigreeScan unit has also been a huge time saver for Norm. “In the past it would take me five or six weeks, full time, to match less than half of our 1,300 lambs. Pedigree Matchmaking requires some set up and data review but the PedigreeScan unit lets me match almost all lambs without the full time commitment.”

While most Stud operations focus heavily on sire evaluation, Norm sees great value in dam evaluation and the data from Sapien is key to leveraging this. Norm uses the accurate data held in KoolPerform to select his top ten ewes for his Embryo Transfer Program. Collecting eggs from these ewes will enable Glenwood to compound the productivity from its top genetic performers by having these dams produce up to 70 lambs over a three-year period.

Norm also plans to roll out EID and the individual animal management capabilities from Sapien Technology over all of his commercial sheep. The first two age groups have been tagged and are being measured for growth, fertility and fleece weight. Retention of fertility data for each ewe over multiple years will be used to cull poor performers to make sure the operation runs with maximum efficiency.

Download Case Study Glenwood Merino Stud