Technology to improve your sheep business

An exciting line up of Teagasc and international speakers have been assembled for the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Conference, which takes place across two evenings, starting tonight, Tuesday, January 26, at 8:00pm, with the second session taking place on Thursday, January 28.

Register now at: www.teagasc.ie/sheepcon21.

New Zealand influence

Tonight’s session hosted by Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc, will deliver a strong New Zealand influence as Teagasc Walsh Scholar Nicola Fetherstone provides an update on the INZAC trial in Athenry which compares one-star and five-star Irish ewes with elite New Zealand ewes.

Nicola’s studies has involved not only the collection and analysis of a vast amount of data on the INZAC flock including reproductive, lambing, ewe and lamb growth, performance and productivity, but also allowed her to travel to New Zealand for a three-month period to link up with agri-consultancy firm AbacusBio and increase her knowledge in the area of New Zealand production systems.

As her PhD now draws to a close, Nicola will present her findings to date.

Join us tonight to hear how New Zealand ewes surpassed the performance of both Irish groups for litter size, ewe survival, lambing dystocia and lamb vigour.

The second speaker is Prof. Paul Kenyon PhD, Professor of Sheep Husbandry at Massey University, New Zealand, and the head of the School of Agriculture and Environment.

Paul works collaboratively with farmers, industry and veterinarians throughout New Zealand and is a regular presenter at industry and farmer events.

Paul will present a paper on New Zealand feeding guidelines for growing lambs to target live weights on herbage. Professor Kenyon will outline lamb production from pasture in New Zealand, including grazing management, inclusion of white clover and mixed herb species.

He will show how performance is greater when the legume content within a sward is higher and the animal has the ability to choose what it consumes.

Still time to register

As we face into 2021, this Virtual Sheep Conference is an important opportunity for sheep farmers, and those in the sheep sector, to update their knowledge on a number of key aspects of lowland sheep production. Still time to register at: www.teagasc.ie/sheepcon21.

The webinar on Thursday, January 28, is hosted by Damian Costello, Sheep Knowledge Transfer Specialist in Teagasc, and he will be joined by Áine O’Brien, Post-doctoral Researcher on Sheep Genetics and Genomics, Teagasc, and by UK vet Ben Shrugnal.