THE Western Victorian Elders Balmoral Sire Evaluation Trial – Australia's biggest – annual field day on Friday, April 19, will feature progeny from 37 rams across four States, giving a rare chance to view and compare the best Merino genetics in Australia.
The entrepreneurial committee is also set to launch an innovative management system, capturing an animal's bodyweight with the use of RFID electronic tags and an in-paddock weighing system.
"There has been a lot of development around the use of this technology, though we are aiming to be the first to pull it together and deliver a commercial package which can be used to improve sheep health, performance and ultimately profitability," chairman Tom Silcock said.
"While similar technology has been used to pair Merino ewes and lambs, we are adding the weighbridge feature, capturing the body weight of animals each day as they walk across the platform in their paddock. This data will be recorded against their eartag. We will be able to monitor the condition of individual animals and be alerted to any loss in condition long before we can see it with the naked eye.
"Management decisions such as increasing nutrition can then be made early to rectify issues before they have a dramatic impact on the animals.
"There are a huge variety of benefits including maximising wool-staple strength, conception rates or lamb birth and survival rates."
*Full report in Stock Journal, April 11 issue, 2013.