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The Yarn Podcast
The Yarn - Episode 100
The Sheep Geek (self-confessed) The Sheep Geek (self-confessed)
From a reluctant social media user to prolific user of technology on farm.
Hear from sheep farmer and stud breeder Mark Mortimer about his “it has to work for me” approach to new technology.
Merinos winning in a changing landscape Merinos winning in a changing landscape
Woolgrowing in Tasmania has been put under the microscope for profitability with the expansion of irrigation over the last 20 years.
Despite new production options, fine wool is still winning in terms of profitability, stability and reliability according to George Gatenby.
Real Farmers with Real Agritech = solving problems + lifting profits Real Farmers with Real Agritech = solving problems + lifting profits
From the Digital and Smart Agriculture (DISA) Festival hear from farmers Nick Seymour (Farmo) and Jen Medway (Agrifutures) about the way technology is improving their business right now. 46% fleeceweight gains in Merinos for example.
Also, they explain much of the jargon around the Internet of Things (IoT) to equip you to decide what might solve problems for you.
Australian Made Week; buy local, support local Australian Made Week; buy local, support local
The first ever ‘Australian Made Week’ runs this week from May 24 to May 30, encouraging Australian shoppers to buy locally-made goods and support the makers and growers in our country.
We speak with two Australian made and owned wool brands, Woolerina and MiniJumbuk about what it takes to be in retail in Australia, and the significance of being Australian made in an industry where a large volume of wool manufacturing is done overseas.
Voices of the Wool Industry Voices of the Wool Industry
Discussions, debates and decisions are all on the cards at the Wool Industry Consultative Panel (WICP) meetings. The WICP represent woolgrowers from far and wide across Australia, to make sure AWI acts on industry issues relevant to each state. 3 WICP members join us this episode, to talk about the industry’s priorities right now and how we act upon them.
Joining Ewe Lambs Joining Ewe Lambs
When done correctly, joining ewe lambs can be profitable and play an important role in building or maintaining flocks, as explained by Kirsty and Andrew Kennedy of Thrive Agri Services. Their new course called Thriving Ewe Lambs, is providing participants with the science and best-practice management to optimise the reproduction of ewe lambs.
Wool production and WoolQ Wool production and WoolQ
Wool production is lifting but not everywhere: what the flock is happening with it?
WoolQ is gaining steam and sales: hear the latest on this innovative platform for our fibre.
Revisiting the USA Revisiting the USA
18 months after a significant visit to Australia (episode 108), what has happened to the brands that came and saw the industry?
Hear from Stephen Kelly AWI/Woolmark in the USA and one of the farmers that hosted the trip; Neil Harris.
Sheep Sustainability Framework Sheep Sustainability Framework
Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia have released the world first Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF).
The SSF is supported by AWI and MLA and was initiated by Australia’s sheep industry leaders to demonstrate our sustainable practices, identify areas for improvement, and better communicate with customers and consumers. Hear why it is so significant to the future of our industry.
Pasture legumes to feed livestock and crops Pasture legumes to feed livestock and crops
Newly discovered pasture legumes species are being identified to boost profits and reduce risk in mixed farms of low to medium rainfall areas of Australia. These annual legumes are offering improved production benefits to both cropping and animal systems, as Rob Harrison of Murdoch University explains.
Where to for wool post COVID Where to for wool post COVID
New markets, new products, new ideas and new challenges.
Hear how the market has adapted and where the wool supply chain and the wool market is heading into the future.
Burying wool and stereotypes Burying wool and stereotypes
Replicating the famous Campaign for Wool jumper burial, the Women on Farms gathering in Victoria recently showed how biodegradable wool is, while flying the flag for the crucial role women play in agriculture.
The fence that’s saving the outback The fence that’s saving the outback
It’s a lot of money, a lot of wire and a lot of land, but the revolution of cluster fencing has kept many wild dogs out and allowed for the reintroduction of sheep to many pastoral areas of Australia.
In central west Queensland, a cluster fencing program has now protected an area larger than Hong Kong. Hear from RAPAD’s Morgan Gronold and woolgrower David Owens about the endless positive impacts the fences have brought to businesses, livelihoods and communities in the region.
What shearing shortage? What shearing shortage?
The COVID pandemic has placed great pressure on shearing across the country.
Glenn Haynes from the Shearing Contractors Association explains how a huge effort to train more shearers and increase retention has helped turn the tide, helping make the Australian industry more labour self-sufficient.
Merinos reduce cropping risks Merinos reduce cropping risks
The Australian Merino Lamb Trial examined if a wether trading operation could pay for the crops the animals grazed.
Hear Craig Wilson of Craig Wilson and Associates and Jim Meckiff of JM Livestock discuss the surprising results of this very innovative on-farm study.
The business in building a shearing shed The business in building a shearing shed
The ingredients of a successful new shearing shed are the woolgrower, builder and shearing contractor, all being involved in the decision-making process throughout the shed’s construction.
The new shearing shed at Geoff and Linda Bilney’s ‘Broome Farms’ property in WA, is based off AWI’s shed design and will shear over 65,000 sheep annually. We speak to their builder and shearing contractor who explain the costs, design and long-term benefits to all in this shed built through collaboration.
Taking a chance with wool and winning Taking a chance with wool and winning
Meet two young-ish people who years ago took a big chance with wool and have won.
Both woolgrowers, Allan Harris is also a breeder and Alister Carr a wool broker. They talk through why they did and why their successful businesses now look so bright.
Flies and worms in a wet summer Flies and worms in a wet summer
Post drought, many woolgrowers have enjoyed a good season and now a wet summer which has created issues for fly and worm control. Hear experts talk through the best way to manage these very significant issues this summer to keep your flock safe.
Marketing wool during COVID Marketing wool during COVID
Despite significant challenges, wool marketing has adapted during the global pandemic with strong results.
Hear how Woolmark has partnered with effective channels to get the messages of versatility and modernity to a more discerning consumer.
How blockchain could revolutionise wool How blockchain could revolutionise wool
Shared ledger technology is changing supply chains and offers transparency, traceability and provenance.
This is what consumers, brands and manufacturers are wanting more of from wool. So what’s the go?
A strong start to 2021 for the wool market A strong start to 2021 for the wool market
Despite larger offerings and a stronger Australian dollar the wool market has lifted to start the 2021 calendar year.
What is driving this current market and can it last? Hear the analysis with AWI Trade Consultant Scott Carmody.
A new path to farm ownership A new path to farm ownership
The dream of owning your own sheep farm seems harder than ever given property prices.
However, an innovative way of matching aspiring farmers and retiring farmers is making the dream a reality for a new generation of farmers who bring new ideas and new energy to Australia’s food and fibre industries.
Yacker; a new way for farmers to communicate Yacker; a new way for farmers to communicate
A clever new platform that allows farmers and experts to discuss problems, issues, questions, challenges.
Created by farmers for farmers, hear how Yacker might be the way we all yack in years to come.
Managing your flock over summer Managing your flock over summer
Rams to prepare for joining, weaners to grow, vaccinations to give, parasites to manage; there’s a lot happening on the farm over summer!
Dr Tim Gole shares practical animal health and management advice for woolgrowers over the summer period, to best support your flock for the new calendar year.
Where have all the shearers gone? Where have all the shearers gone?
A shearing and woolhandling shortage/crisis.
Hear from a meeting of industry stakeholders who have agreed on various important points to improve the issue of shearer and woolhandler labour.
The nutritional value of crop stubbles The nutritional value of crop stubbles
Grazing stubbles is an important component of many mixed farming systems, filling feed gaps over the summer months as a valuable source of feed for livestock.
But with varying crop species, varieties, management and different harvesters, what is the nutritional value of modern crop stubbles? Dr Dean Thomas from CSIRO explains.
Wool2030: a brighter future for Australian woolgrowers Wool2030: a brighter future for Australian woolgrowers
Chairman of the Wool Industry Consultative Panel Lyndsay Douglas talks through the new 10-year plan for the Australian wool industry. Over 800 woolgrowers and the greater industry has had input to Wool2030; hear what is in it and what it aims to do for the world’s premium sustainable fibre.
The editor behind Beyond the Bale The editor behind Beyond the Bale
In his 75th edition manging the flagship wool magazine, Richard Smith discusses life in the UK, the evolution of the flagship publication and how you can get into it.
Highlights of the 2020 AGM Highlights of the 2020 AGM
Despite a challenging 2020 for the global economy and therefore wool, the future looks bright.
Hear from the AWI CEO, GM Marketing and GM Research about the state of R+D + marketing and the opportunities ahead.
SafeSheds; The Shearing Shed Safety Program SafeSheds; The Shearing Shed Safety Program
Whether you’re a woolgrower, shearing contractor or worker, everyone is responsible for safety in the shearing shed. The newly launched SafeSheds is a best practice guide and assessment resource to make the wool harvesting workplace safer for all.
Join us as the WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA) explain the new program and how you can use it to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents in your shed. Learn more and sign up for free here www.wool.com/safe-sheds
The sheep industry at new price and low flock levels The sheep industry at new price and low flock levels
Post drought the price of sheep is hitting record high levels but the flock is so low! Can sheep still be good value? Is it likely to last? Where are all the breeders going to come from?
We head from the west to the east of our great country to seek answers to these questions.
Intensifying Merino operations: Can you double? Intensifying Merino operations: Can you double?
The latest AWI funded Nuffield scholar is Monaro Merino producer Andrew Rolfe. After the last drought showed what was possible through containment, can this be the economically-efficient and environmentally-responsible way to seriously boost production?
AWI Young Breeders Challenge AWI Young Breeders Challenge
We celebrate our 150th episode of The Yarn by exploring how the industry is educating the next generation on the impact of differing environments on sheep genetics. Recently in Western Australia, 8 teams, 7 schools, 7 different environments and 1 sheep bloodline took part in the AWI Young Breeders Challenge.
We introduce the event organiser Grantly Mullan from Eastville Park stud, and four keen students from the WA College of Agriculture – Narrogin, who took part in the challenge and are excited for their futures in Australian agriculture.
Michael Caton, one of Australia’s best loved actors, joins The Yarn podcast to discuss his latest film RAMS which explores the very real issue of an exotic disease outbreak in a sheep community.
Listen and see Michael as he joins host Marius Cuming to talk about his experience in the wool and farming industries and how accurate the film is in depicting how much sheep mean to the people who work with them, care for them and are defined by them.
Making Changes - Change Makers Making Changes - Change Makers
Ram Ready with Dr Michylla Seal Ram Ready with Dr Michylla Seal
Sheep reproductive technologies are Dr Michylla Seal’s bread and butter, and her work extends far beyond Australia’s communities and borders.
Hear how Dr Seal is breeding Australian Merino genetics into the Falkland Islands, and get her dos and don’ts on managing your rams prior to joining.
From shearing school to Shanghai From shearing school to Shanghai
In western Queensland young shearers take up the craft and we hear from Jeff Ma, Country Manager for China about how our biggest market is rebounding.
A Shortage of Shearers – but is it all bad? A Shortage of Shearers – but is it all bad?
Darren Spencer, a shearing contractor in WA’s Lake Grace, is currently down half a workforce as coronavirus keeps vital shearing staff back in New Zealand. But the show must go on.
Hear from Darren how shearing teams are coping and how the industry is focused on supporting and upskilling the next generation of shearers to meet the challenge.
The twin Merino lambing shed The twin Merino lambing shed
A decade of lambing many hundreds of twin-bearing Merino ewes had delivered enormous benefits for Victorian woolgrower Tony Butler, but its labour intensive and surely can be made easier.
Tony also talks of his enthusiasm for wool having been on a wool tour of China and explains the amazing story of how his family came to farm at Newstead in the goldfields of Victoria.
Ag education: wether challenge success Ag education: wether challenge success
Helping fuel a boom in agricultural education, the wether challenge concept has introduced thousands of schoolchildren to the sheep and wool industry.
Hear how it is run and why it continues to be such a great success across Australia.
Woolgrower to Wool Market Woolgrower to Wool Market
From paddocks of Western Australia with Steven Bolt to the streets of Western Europe with Damien Pommeret. We discuss the current hurdles and hopes in the industry from farm to fashion and look towards the green shoots of wool demand that may be emerging in our overseas markets.
MJ Bale on changing demand for wool MJ Bale on changing demand for wool
Innovation and a commitment to quality is why MJ Bale grew to be 55 stores and 350 staff in just 12 years.
Founder and CEO Matt Jensen talks through his woolshed dream of starting his own wool retailing business.
Legumes for Livestock Legumes for Livestock
With a change in the local landscape and weather patterns, woolgrower Alistair McDougall is trialing legume pastures to fill his autumn feed gap and improve soil quality. High in protein, highly digestible, hardy and persistent, Alistair shares his hopes for these legumes in his livestock system.
Persistence of wool marketing Persistence of wool marketing
What’s around the corner for wool marketing? In an altered reality, hear about the roles that commuting, Amazon, Prada and online shopping will play in marketing Australian wool.
AWI’s GM of Marketing Communications Laura Armstrong takes us past the doom and gloom to better days ahead.
Upgrading your shearing office Upgrading your shearing office
There’s a lot to consider when designing and constructing a new shearing shed, as woolgrower Stuart Le Lievre knows all too well.
Why upgrade, what’re the advantages of a new shed and what information is out there to help? Stuart shares his experience.
Precision lambing Precision lambing
Lambing is a critical time for all sheep enterprises across Australia.
Tim Leeming, who knows lambing to be a ‘game of 1 percenters,’ outlines how he gets great results from his precision system.
Australian wool & Asia; tough times and opportunities Australian wool & Asia; tough times and opportunities
This week it’s all about what is happening in Asia. An area where more than 85% of Australian wool is sold to. From China, to Japan, Korea, and India to some surprising places where wool is making inroads.
We hear from AWI’s Eastern Hemisphere General Manager John Roberts and AWI’s Country Manager in Japan Samuel Cockedey.
The Science of Wool The Science of Wool
How do you demonstrate to a global audience, that wool is good for human skin and for the environment? Through credible scientific evidence; that is, wool fibre science.
Hear from AWI’s Angus Ireland on how new market opportunities are opening and how the hurdles for wool are being addressed through scientific research of the wool fibre.
Gaining genetic ground with an MLP milestone Gaining genetic ground with an MLP milestone
The Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project has reached its halfway mark, so what does that mean for the commercial and stud breeders of Australia’s wool industry?
Plus, the crucial role that sire evaluation and link sires play in the marathon MLP Project, is explained by Ben Swain of the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA).
What’s the supply, and what’s the demand? What’s the supply, and what’s the demand?
Months after a nation-wide lockdown, Italy is easing restrictions. But are the Italian wool mills running and is there consumer demand for wool in Europe? Italy Country Manager for Woolmark, Francesco Magri, explains.
Additionally, we speak to Russell Pattinson about the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s latest forecast of shorn wool production.
The need for green feed The need for green feed
After years of drought, putting stock back onto precious green feed after drought/containment has many potentially expensive pitfalls.
Hear Dr Jillian Kelly speak about the do’s and dont’s of this crucial exercise.
Smart solar tags: real time monitoring of sheep Smart solar tags: real time monitoring of sheep
On farm trials of new solar ear tags are delivering enormous amounts of data to build systems to monitor and manage sheep like never before. This ground-breaking research is opening up new areas of knowledge for sheep and flock behaviour.
Ian McLachlan: wool industry elder Ian McLachlan: wool industry elder
From developing the outback to leading the wool industry and agriculture through some of its most difficult days.
Ian McLachlan AO was at the forefront of wool for many years but has never seen the future look so bright. Hear why.
A Plan for Predators A Plan for Predators
Wild dogs are relentless; they decimate livestock, destroy wildlife, damage regional economies and spread diseases. How do you manage this problem? With a plan, a National Wild Dog Action Plan (NWDAP).
Hear from industry about what the NWDAP is, why it evolved, and how it helps restore communities, livestock and native animal populations across Australia.
Shearing in isolation Shearing in isolation
Hear how shearing teams around Australia are managing and coping through COVID-19 restrictions.
The restrictions and loss of overseas workers is actually opening up important opportunities.
Future-proofing the Wool Industry Future-proofing the Wool Industry
The wool industry has accumulated decades of skills and knowledge, so how are we passing this information down to the next generation? Two education initiatives, Hay Inc and the Peter Westblade Scholarship, speak to us about how their programs support young people in wool.
A crucial COVID-19 update from China A crucial COVID-19 update from China
In these very difficult days, we hear the very latest from the largest processor and buyer of Australian wool: China. Lizzie Chen has been importing Australian wool on behalf of large Chinese mills since the 1990s.
The Marriage of Sheep and Cropping The Marriage of Sheep and Cropping
With so much to complement each other how have so many sheep left what was the sheep/wheat zone? Will they come back and how? We head to WA to find out the opportunities and the appetite.
COVID-19; Challenging the Wool Market COVID-19; Challenging the Wool Market
What will the current and future implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) be for the Australian wool industry and its consumers? As the outbreak becomes a pandemic, AWI’s CEO Stuart McCullough shares his insight and rates the threat that COVID-19 could present to the wool supply chain.
Progressing with Flystrike Research Progressing with Flystrike Research
Maggot and blowfly samples, fly genome sequencing, trialing vaccines: are all essential parts of AWI’s current flystrike prevention program to research the Australian blowfly and project flystrike control to the next level.
Hear the latest research update into flystrike R&D from AWI’s GM of Research, Dr Jane Littlejohn, to tackle this problem, which has always been and still is a huge detriment to the Australian wool industry.
Adversity to Opportunity; Controlling Feral Species After Natural Disasters Adversity to Opportunity; Controlling Feral Species After Natural Disasters
How do feral species respond to bushfire and drought, and can we use these dire circumstances to our advantage in controlling feral populations?
Whether you’ve got wild dogs, foxes, goats, cats, rabbits, pigs or others, hear from NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Peter Fleming about practical control measures and research programs occurring to reduce ferals’ impact on your livestock enterprise.
Fire Recovery: Let’s Start Again Fire Recovery: Let’s Start Again
Where and how do you start again after a bushfire? We head to the famous woolgrowing region of Kangaroo island where the scars are still raw but the spirit is still high. This young and motivated wool community is ready to start rebuilding after a horror summer despite one massive hindrance: the sea.
Hear how KI is approaching a massive rebuild and why it will all be worthwhile.
Coronavirus and the Australian wool trade Coronavirus and the Australian wool trade
What does coronavirus mean for the Australian wool trade? Hear straight from the horse's mouth as China-based wool agent Lizzy Shen shares her insights on how the coronavirus might affect wool manufacturing in China. And from Australia, John Roberts, AWI General Manager - Eastern Hemisphere, discusses his experience living in China during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
The Positives of Drought The Positives of Drought
Precision feeding in and out of containment, knowledge of pitfalls and shortcuts: this monster drought has taught many lessons.
Hear from the experts about sourcing feed and not losing stock when the drought finally ends; given the old saying that more stock are lost after a drought than during it.
Bushfires: Emergency Livestock Safety and Recovery Bushfires: Emergency Livestock Safety and Recovery
Catastrophic fire conditions across the nation have put emergency livestock management into sharp focus. Qualified veterinarian and AWI General Manager of Research, Dr Jane Littlejohn, offers immediate advice to those who have been affected.
The Dawn of Australian Wool; the Origins of the First Fabric The Dawn of Australian Wool; the Origins of the First Fabric
Despite how it may feel, the Australian wool industry hasn’t existed since the dawn of time. The first fleet, the first sheep, the first cloth… But who created the first cloth? Join us as we speak to the first textile company ever to use Australian wool.
And with the digital age well underway, education resources are rapidly transitioning online. Learn about a wool education initiative that keeps up with this global trend to digitally inform a growing audience on the benefits of wool.
AWI CEO on 2019 and hope for 2020 AWI CEO on 2019 and hope for 2020
Hear what Australian Wool Innovation Chief Executive Officer Stuart McCullough has to say about 2019 and what to look forward to in 2020. International demand for wool, key projects at AWI, assisting woolgrowers through and hopefully out of drought.
Shearing and Wool Handling; a profession, a sport or both? Shearing and Wool Handling; a profession, a sport or both?
Australia's best-of-the-best shearers and woolhandlers from across the country migrate to Dubbo to represent their home states at the National Shearing and Wool Handling Championships of 2019.
We speak to trainers and competitors on the ground about their commitment to producing world-class wool harvesting standards and the prospects of recognising shearing as a sport in Australia.
Young guns fire for wool Young guns fire for wool
With a massive reduction in the national flock, how do we make the Merino great again? Anthony Close, a 2019 Nuffield Farming Scholar, has travelled the world to investigate how we can reboot the flock.
Get married in your own Merino wool suit; a dream of woolgrower, Floyd Legge. And despite massive time barriers, he did it!
Australian wool and the USA Australian wool and the USA
We host and hear from one of the largest garment retailers from the world’s largest economy.
After seeing the industry first-hand, what are the future opportunities for Australian wool in the great US of A?
Studying Shearing Muscle and Rangeland Management Studying Shearing Muscle and Rangeland Management
It’s the hardest job known: shearing. Hear about a new project that uses biometrics to support shearers better. We also meet the latest AWI Nuffield Scholar, Tom Hooke, who is studying rotational grazing in the rangelands.
The Chairman’s Address The Chairman’s Address
With a connection to the land and an extensive career in retail and the establishment of the Australian fashion industry, the AWI Chairman, Colette Garnsey is a jack of all trades. Making her debut on The Yarn, Colette shares with us her journey from farm to fashion, how she came to be on the AWI Board and most importantly, her priorities for AWI as Chairman.
Gucci and Versace: why these iconic brands choose wool Gucci and Versace: why these iconic brands choose wool
Taking senior managers from some of the most respected brands in the world to where wool is grown with care and passion, how it is tested and sold is one of the roles of Australian Wool Innovation/The Woolmark Company.
Hear what these highly influential brands have to say about our industry; the people, animals and landscape behind the best natural fibre in the world.
2019 Nanjing Wool Market ‘Conference of Confusion’ 2019 Nanjing Wool Market ‘Conference of Confusion’
The recent volatility of the Australian wool market has led to uncertainty about the future conditions of our market. But how is the global wool market being affected? We venture to China for the 2019 Nanjing Wool Market Conference, and hear from wool producing representatives around the world to discuss the current state and future of the wool market globally and in their respective regions.
New shearing shed designs and wool’s wellness attributes New shearing shed designs and wool’s wellness attributes
Are you thinking about renovating an existing shearing shed or building a new one? Hear about AWI’s project on a new shearing shed design, the process and outcomes of a recent project.
With over 20% of children born to western lifestyles suffering from eczema, AWI is working hard to push wool’s wellness attributes to break into the skin health market
Making sheep easier Making sheep easier
Uncertain seasons, new technology, new opportunities. There is no doubting the bright future for the sheep and wool industries, but how can it all be made easier?
Hear how farmers Chris Patmore and Zac Roberts make their enterprises more time and effort – efficient and the advice pasture expert Phil Barrett-Lennard has for those planning an easier system.
Winning with wool dedication Winning with wool dedication
Meet Stephen Glen, the latest winner of the Australian Fleece Competition and hear what it takes to grow a Grand Champion fleece: hint: not easy.
Also, Merineo is a brand-new baby range for newborns, it has taken a long time to break into this valuable market, how has Claire Hausler done it?
An ugly wool market restart: why? An ugly wool market restart: why?
After a 3-week break, Australian wool auctions have returned with heavy losses for various reasons.
Hear from an insider: Scott Carmody talks through the exact reasons why the wool market has dropped so heavily a year after record highs.
On a positive note, we also hear from a very upbeat and innovative Australian Woolmark licensee who has a great view of the future for wool.
A fashion journalist’s love for wool A fashion journalist’s love for wool
Colin McDowell is one of the world’s top fashion commentators. Having been a journalist for over 20 years, he has at one time or another written for every quality newspaper and magazine in Britain. Join Ellie and Colin in Wales as they talk about wool's past, present and future and Colin's work as a mentor and judge for the International Woolmark Prize.
Magnificent Maidens: lambing ewes at 12 months Magnificent Maidens: lambing ewes at 12 months
Merino ewes can successfully lamb at 12 months of age, but it takes commitment and confidence. Hear the research behind the potential from James Whale, Meridian Ag who studied exactly this.
Persistent pastures and plugging feed gaps Persistent pastures and plugging feed gaps
More resilient, more flexible, more productive:
Hear from the 2019 Southern Australia Grassland Society conference as Australia’s farmers look for better pastures for an uncertain future.
Smart Tags and WoolQ: the future of wool Smart Tags and WoolQ: the future of wool
Real time monitoring of stock is unlocking many sheep secrets but using powerful computer learning, could we identify stock by facial recognition also?
WoolQ brings woolgrower closer to the consumer, hear the latest on this exciting new platform for wool.
The 100% solar-powered woolshed The 100% solar-powered woolshed
What does it take and what does it cost to create a woolshed that is 100% off the grid?
The savings, the innovations, the opportunities and the future.
Hear it all from Peter and Jane Waters who have done it with their 4-stand, 2-press operation.
Wool around the world Wool around the world
Woolmark’s Jeff Ma in downtown Shanghai explains China’s love for wool.
Travel to the Yorkshire mills in the UK and hear how innovation with Australian wool has kept new fabrics evolving after 200 years.
In Australia though, continuing drought is keeping supply of wool low, while feed and finance are tight for many who actually grow the fibre.
Risky business Risky business
Managing risk and the associated rewards makes Australian farming one of the hardest jobs of all. However, there is a form guide and tools to significantly help manage risk and in turn, help business and ultimately your own well-being.
Cam Nicholson from Nicon Consulting has some key points to share.
50 years of service to the West Australian agricultural industry 50 years of service to the West Australian agricultural industry
From 10-pound pom to OAM, Bob Hall talks of the changes through 50 years as a sheep consultant and why the future looks so bright for sheep and wool.
Educating the future of wool; the NMC Educating the future of wool; the NMC
160 students from right across Australia attended the National Merino Challenge (NMC) to learn about wool and sheep.
What do secondary and tertiary students learn and how does this provide a career pathway into the great Australian wool industry?
Hear from those who have made the NMC the great educational success story it is today.
Supply, Demand and Asia: where wool dragons drive demand Supply, Demand and Asia: where wool dragons drive demand
China, Japan, Korea and India are giants when it comes to the processing and consumption of Australian wool but with the global economy slowing down, how is wool positioned to stay at high demand levels? Hear from Woolmark’s John Roberts, GM Eastern Hemisphere about the initiatives across Asia and also trade analyst Scott Carmody about the sentiment of the raw wool auction rooms.
Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project Update Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project Update
Four years into the ten-year long MLP Project, the industry experts from the MLP Industry Steering Committee share the successes of the project so far and the outcomes the industry hopes to see in the future.
Rebuilding a giant: the Qld wool industry Rebuilding a giant: the Qld wool industry
Once a mainstay of the Queensland economy, the wool and sheep industry has shrunk to a shadow of its former self thanks in part to prices, drought and wild dogs over many years. But a quiet rebuild is in underway with a massive commitment to exclusion fencing and flock restructure, farmers are keen to return to sheep when the rains also return.
How to plan and execute practical change How to plan and execute practical change
Dr. Jason Trompf has a lifetime of experience as a researcher, consultant, facilitator and head of AWI's Victorian extension network, Best Wool, Best Lamb. AWI's Marius Cuming speaks to Jason about the four key pillars of practical change and the integration of education into farming communities. Jason also practices what he preaches, running around 3,000 meat composite ewes in the North East of Victoria.
Merino Management Merino Management
Capping off our Western Australian series, we head to Cranmore farming to discuss the benefits of Merinos in a mixed farming operation. We also talk to AWI’s WA wild dog coordinator Meja Aldrich, about the management and control of wild dogs in sheep producing areas.
Lessons in and out of the shearing shed Lessons in and out of the shearing shed
Shearing technique, shearing shed design and building, shearer training; it’s all in Don Boyle’s repertoire. Hear how one man went from a handpiece at 15 to over 20,000 sheep in one lifetime.
Having spent so long in sheds, he now designs and builds woolsheds with sheep, woolhandlers and shearers in mind. Hear what works for all.
Why have sheep in a cropping system? Why have sheep in a cropping system?
We head to Western Australia to hear how mixed farmers in the wheatbelt have improved their overall sheep/cropping enterprise by adopting electronic tagging and the AWI/RIST Lifetime Ewe Management course.
The Road to Balranald The Road to Balranald
Head to far south west NSW and hear some of the epic stories of the Australian wool industry. Wool still plays a significant role for the farming families in this part of the world where horizons are broad, rains are rare but people are warm and welcoming despite facing some unique challenges.
Droughts, floods but optimism in QLD Droughts, floods but optimism in QLD
Queensland farmers have been through a lot. From scorching droughts to the recent flooding and the persistent attacks from wild dogs, the elements have thrown everything at Queensland’s rural communities. But at the recent Australian Wool Network conference held in Longreach, the optimism of the Queensland woolgrowers shone through.
Ella Edwards and Anna Buckley from The Woolmark Company – AWI’s marketing arm – were invited to speak at the conference and interviewed woolgrower Peter Clark and AWN representative Greg Hunt about the conditions in Queensland and the attitude surrounding the wool industry.
From exclusion fencing to classing sheep, Peter and Greg give insight into Queensland’s wool industry and what the future holds for Queensland woolgrowers.
Thank you to AWN for inviting AWI to present at the conference and to the woolgrowers and staff for their hospitality.
Fashion Secrets Explained Fashion Secrets Explained
How long does it take from sheep to shop? Who makes the decisions about what wool design and colour is ultimately seen at retail?
In this episode learn some of the ins and outs of the complicated, wonderful world of fashion and the Woolmark’s company’s key role involved throughout.
Craig Wilson’s career as a Merino consultant Craig Wilson’s career as a Merino consultant
Merino consultant Craig Wilson discusses the Peter Westblade scholarship and the great opportunities around Merino into the future. Also, hear from Beyond the Bale editor Richard Smith about his favourite stories and how to get your stories in Australia’s most read wool magazine.
Wool market update: Jan 2019 Wool market update: Jan 2019
The wool market has started the year with strong demand followed by consolidation.
Given the ongoing drought, supply and what retail sales are doing in the key northern hemisphere winter, what can we expect this year for the wool market?
Hear from AWI trade consultant Scott Carmody and AWI graduate Ben Madgwick.
Flock to Baggy Green Flock to Baggy Green
450 donors have grown the next 100 years of baggy greens for the Australian cricket team.
Gideon Haigh, the country’s best cricket writer, discusses his book celebrating this historic project. We also meet Stephen Field, a cricket-mad woolgrower who explains why he loves the the game and the fibre.
Who’s teaching the next gen about wool? Who’s teaching the next gen about wool?
Catriona Nicholls and Madeline Scott have been the movers and shakers in getting the Learn About Wool resource in alignment with Australia’s school curriculum.
Teachers can lift the free resource straight from the website or order a full Learn About Wool kit and deliver lesson plans that focus on Australian wool that is specific for their class.
3D printing - could this lead to robotic shearing? 3D printing - could this lead to robotic shearing?
We all want to make shearing less labour intensive but how to actually achieve this has stumped many shearers, engineers and entrepreneurs. Researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney are taking an entirely novel approach by creating possibly the worlds first 3D printed sheep in their quest to solve the robotic shearing quandary.
Hear from shearing legend and AWI’s Shearing Industry Development Manager Jim Murray, as he walks us through the potential these young innovators are uncovering for the Australian wool industry.
Is the China-US trade war affecting our wool market? Is the China-US trade war affecting our wool market?
The wool market has enjoyed a very strong run over the last 12 months with the benchmark eastern market indicator up about 25% year on year. But in recent weeks, uncertainty has crept into the market. Today we examine, in some detail, both the short and the long-term drivers in the wool market.
We speak with AWI Trade Consultant Scott Carmody about the factors driving the wool price and then we head to the US to hear from the President of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, Steve Lamar who reveals the ins and outs of the trade war between China and the US and how it could potentially affect the Australian wool market.
Woolgrowers from both sides of the world Woolgrowers from both sides of the world
Craig Heggaton from Kojonup in West Australia has a wool and sheep enterprise that has grown well beyond the woolshed and has a tip on keeping quality staff. Hear also from the manager of Tecka station in Argentina, a massive enterprise producing great fine Merino wool in a harsh climate.
What does industry think about WoolPoll? What does industry think about WoolPoll?
Peta Slack-Smith, General Manager of Corporate Affairs at AWI interviewed a number of industry representatives at the consultation workshop organised by AWI this week.
Ed Storey, the Senior Vice President of Wool Producers Australia, Andrew Wood the Chair New South Wales Farmers Committee and President of the Wool Council and Alan Rae, the President of AgForce’s Sheep and Wool Board, reveal what they think about WoolPoll and the consultation process with AWI.
A humble shepherd and internationally acclaimed author A humble shepherd and internationally acclaimed author
James Rebanks has become – unwittingly and unexpectedly – a house hold name. His book The Shepherd’s Life has been read by thousands, maybe millions of people, but first and foremost he is a shepherd from the north of England in Matterdale, Cumbria.
James spoke at the 2018 LambEx conference in Perth about his experience as a shepherd and we caught up with him afterward to capture some of his wisdom for The Yarn.
Many of Australia’s woolgrowers have been dealing with drought for many months, others are now slipping into it.
What help is at hand and what advice do the experts offer in terms of the key decisions that have to be made about stock, feed and finances?
Woolmark Performance Challenge Woolmark Performance Challenge
As the inaugural Woolmark Performance Challenge charges on with some of the best millennial minds in the textile performance wear space, we speak with some of the finalists whose ideas and innovations have impressed the judges so much so that they are through to the next round of the Challenge.
Hosted in partnership with The Woolmark Company and sportswear giant adidas, the Challenge includes a two-day workshop to inspire and build capacity within these finalists before their final presentation at Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor sports expo and conference in the USA.
IWP designer making waves IWP designer making waves
Her environmentally conscious philosophy creates an aura around the clothing of BODICE STUDIO and is causing a swell in the fashion world, but International Woolmark Prize womenswear winner Ruchika Sachdeva says she doesn’t follow trends, rather her clothes are built to weather the natural changes of a lifetime.
New WoolQ Functionality New WoolQ Functionality
With three new functions now available on the WoolQ platform, doors are opening to new opportunities for all in the Australian wool industry. Listen in to find out what opportunities are opening for you.
The challenge of growing wool in Africa The challenge of growing wool in Africa
Every country presents different challenges for wool growers and for South Africans, big cats and mining are two very large issues wool growers must face.
Nicholson’s Nuffield Nicholson’s Nuffield
Scott Nicholson has taken up the Nuffield scholarship with both hands and is leading the charge in finding new ways to bring technology on-farm, whilst learning some great life lessons along the way.
Barking up the right tree Barking up the right tree
We speak with four industry representatives, Geoff Power, Karen Huskinson, Scott Pickering and Chris Patmore, about their role in wild dog control and what the future holds for the sheep and wool industry.
Social license, what is it to the wool industry? Social license, what is it to the wool industry?
The Australian Wool industry is built on long standing trust and reputation for quality, but how easily could this be destroyed? Listen to Charlie Arnot at LambEx 2018 as he breaks down what’s needed to keep the industry on top.
Our farming future with robots Our farming future with robots
From Lambex 2018: taking advantage of digital disruption.
Melissa Clarke-Reynolds is a digital strategist, foresight practitioner, maths geek and Beef and Lamb NZ independent director.
What sort of opportunities exist for sheep and woolgrowers in the brave new digital world.
Cockies head back to school Cockies head back to school
Do you have trouble with your weaners? Are your rams at peak performance? Are your ewes performers or passengers?
New workshops designed to boost your on-farm productivity are rolling out across the country. Find out about them here.