Electronic wool bale tagging a breeze at Illabo

Electronic wool bale tagging a breeze at Illabo

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Illabo, NSW, wool grower Beverley Norman trialed the e-Bale tags at her recent shearing.

Illabo, NSW, wool grower Beverley Norman trialed the e-Bale tags at her recent shearing.

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Electronic tagging of wool bales could be a part of the sheep industry's future and NSW wool grower Beverley Norman is keen to jump on board.

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Electronic tagging of wool bales could be a part of the sheep industry's future and NSW wool grower Beverley Norman is keen to jump on board.

The Illabo farmer has recently taken part in a trial of Australian Wool Exchange's e-Bale tags which link the unique bale identification and classer specifications to individual bales using RFID technology and the WoolClip system.

Ms Norman said the trial went extremely well and it was something she would be interested in investing in moving forward.

"We're interested in exploring new technology and systems that will help the industry," she said.

"Anything that can help make things more efficient is a good thing."

Ms Norman runs multiple shearings a year, with all grown sheep shorn twice a year.

"We shear our crossbred lambs six weeks before we market them aiming to sell into the export market, so we have a few crossbred lamb shearings," she said.

"Then we shear our Merino ewe lambs in April to get a skin on them before winter and it seems to help with their growth giving them seven months' wool for the November shearing.

"Our main shearing is in May, which is when we shear all of the ewes, rams, Merino wether lambs and any crossbred lambs that are left."

Ms Norman said having all of their information online and easily linked back to the bale meant they were receiving discounts on their brokerage costs from their wool broker Moses & Sons.

"It's saving them lots of time and work entering data from the handwritten specifications and at the same time it's reducing error," she said.

"It's taking the human element out of writing things down and things potentially being wrong."

And she said having all of the information in one place made referring back to old data incredibly simple.

"Instead of having all of these specifications in filing cabinets, it's all there online," she said.

READ MORE: e-Bale technology making progress

The sticker in the top right corner is the tag used in the trial.

The sticker in the top right corner is the tag used in the trial.

Bev Cameron classed Ms Norman's wool during shearing and said the e-Bale tags added only one extra step.

That step was using a phone app to scan the QR code on the bale which then linked the bale to the information Ms Cameron was entering.

She said there were moments where she lost connection but the app allowed for manual entering of the bale's identification number.

"A lot of shearing sheds you go to won't have reception so it's important that it's able to be used without connection," she said.

Ms Cameron was pleased with the traceability elements the e-Bale tags offered.

"Once the bale leaves the shed and goes to the wool brokers, all they have to do is scan it and they know exactly what's in it," she said.

"They know where it's come from and whose it is."

She said these sort of tags could have great benefits to larger scale producers.

"But maybe not the smaller farmers," she said.

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The story Electronic wool bale tagging a breeze at Illabo first appeared on Farm Online.

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