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The Yarn Podcast
Making sheep easier
Bernard Salt’s challenge to Australian agribusiness Bernard Salt’s challenge to Australian agribusiness
Demographer, author and business adviser Bernard Salt AM has a challenge for Australian agribusiness as the pandemic wanes: reset and create a big Australian agribusiness on the global stage. Why don’t we have one already given the expertise and resources at our disposal. With an optimistic view of the future, particularly for regional Australia and the industries that drive it, like wool, Bernard Salt joins The Yarn to discuss the big picture.
2022 AWI AGM highlights 2022 AWI AGM highlights
As the Australian wool industry’s research, development and marketing body, AWI annually reports on its progress and the global operating environment for wool. This episode draws on the main presentations from the 2022 Annual General Meeting, including Chairman Jock Laurie, CEO John Roberts as well as research and marketing General Managers Dr Jane Littlejohn and Laura Armstrong.
Domestic processing: dream or reality Domestic processing: dream or reality
Only 5% of the entire Australian wool clip can be processed domestically, leaving the wool industry vulnerable.
WoolProducers Australia has just released "Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia's wool supply chain" - a comprehensive report into this very issue. Hear WPA General Manager Adam Dawes talk through the report and where this important issue heads from here. - Read the report here: https://bit.ly/3fWERrC
Jamie Lillie of Fox and Lillie exports Jamie Lillie of Fox and Lillie exports
With so much international uncertainty, what does one of Australia’s largest brokers, exporters and processors think of wool’s future? Jamie Lillie, General Manager of Fox and Lillie exports is upbeat about the current state of the wool industry and its prospects for various reasons, despite all the gloom around interest rates, inflation and conflict globally.
Sportscraft and wool Sportscraft and wool
As the very first Australian Woolmark licensee and selling quality woollen garments since 1914, Sportscraft holds a special place in the Australian retail landscape. What trends are appearing for wool consumption? What do people want from wool? Hear what this iconic retailer has to say about the future of wool and the people that ultimately buy it.
Merino Lifetime Productivity Merino Lifetime Productivity
The Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project is the world’s largest Merino experiment, tracking the lifetime performance of 5,700 ewes as they proceed through four to five joinings and annual shearings at five sites across the country. We are now starting to get some fascinating results which are uncovering some of the mysteries of Merino genetics. Hear from Ben Swain (AMSEA) as well as MerinoLink and Pingelly site hosts Marty Moses and Dr Bronwyn Clarke.
Foot and Mouth Disease Augmented Reality Foot and Mouth Disease Augmented Reality
PIRSA in South Australia have developed an augmented reality App for smartphones to help identify exotic animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth disease. Hear how it works and its significant benefits.
Carryology USA discovers the source of Merino Carryology USA discovers the source of Merino
Who would have thought the concept of “exploring better ways to carry” would lead to Merino farms? Well of course it does because when packing for a trip, is there anything better than Merino? Hear from cult figure Taylor Welden as he discusses his love of Merino wool and his day out discovering how it is grown, harvested and sold.
Voice of the future Voice of the future
Young woolgrower Katherine Bain speaks with AWI GM Research, Jane Littlejohn about the family woolgrowing enterprise, her hopes for the future and we learn of two new wool marketing campaigns.
Data supporting and building trust in industry Data supporting and building trust in industry
Without the trust of the customer there is no industry. Demonstration of sustainable production of sheep meat and wool is critical to secure access to local and global markets. Sarah Hyland is the manager of the sheep sustainability framework and explains it perfectly. We also check in on the health of the sheep industry in SA at the GrowingSA conference near Adelaide with LivestockSA president Joe Keynes.
School wether competition success School wether competition success
In South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia, highly popular school wether competitions are run by the state Stud Merino Breeders Association. These events introduce young people to the sheep and wool industry. Hear from co-ordinator Ben Watts and Brooke Cowan from Gunnedah High School after the successful NSW event which involved 62 schools and over 500 students.
State of the Art 3D knitting on farm State of the Art 3D knitting on farm
Is it the only commercial knitting machine on farm anywhere in Australia? Woolgrower Sue McClure of Killmaille in western Victoria is making her dream a reality but it’s taken a lifetime of work to get there.
Ed Storey, WoolProducers Australia president: FMD, SSF and the state of wool Ed Storey, WoolProducers Australia president: FMD, SSF and the state of wool
The threat of Foot and Mouth Disease entering Australia is real and highly concerning for everyone involved with all livestock industries. WoolProducers Australia plays a key role if the disease does reach Australia’s shores, hear what president Ed Storey has to say about the strong measures to keep it out, what individuals can do to protect their flocks as well as the policies and procedures if it is found. Ed also speaks about the significance of the Sheep Sustainability Framework and the overall state of our great industry.
Wool back at Premiere Vision Wool back at Premiere Vision
The key textile trade show Premiere Vision was held in Paris for the first time since the advent of the pandemic. The strong focus on sustainability, innovation and versatility has been another great opportunity for wool. Hear from the Woolmark Company’s Western Hemisphere Manager Damien Pommeret fresh from Premiere Vision.
Foot and Mouth special: your sheep and wool questions answered Foot and Mouth special: your sheep and wool questions answered
Join Andrew Henderson chair of SAFEMEAT who discusses in detail how the industry is protected, what you can do to help protect the industry, what happens if the disease is found in Australia and the sheep and wool ramifications.
TEM and the wild west TEM and the wild west
Hear from Thomas Elder Market analysts Matt Dalgleish and Andrew Whitelaw about the drivers of the wool market at the 2022 WAFarmers conference at MURESK and hear from WAF president and woolgrower John Hassel about why the future looks bright for the natural fibre.
The Superfine Master The Superfine Master
Alistair Lade has been producing paddock-based superfine wool from his family’s property for many decades. It has taken dedication across many areas of the business: genetics, pasture, environment, electronic ID, plus no shortage of hard work. However, the hard work is paying off: hear from this superfine wool master.
Biological defleecing: The next generation Biological defleecing: The next generation
Join General Manager, Research at AWI, Dr Jane Littlejohn who talks to Emily King about a new opportunity for biological defleecing using the zein class of protein. It allows for the wool production to be weakened but not completely stopped, thus keeping the wool on the sheep to be harvested in potentially new and more automated way. Jane also discusses the suite of research work at AWI.
Barber’s Pole: clear and present danger Barber’s Pole: clear and present danger
Worm control in sheep has become a major issue and the spread and frequency of Barber’s pole worm in flocks is alarming. A parasite that rewrites the books for control and the world champion in terms of resistance according to those who know and we are about to hear from three of them.
Wool harvesting technology day: Falkiner Memorial Field Station Wool harvesting technology day: Falkiner Memorial Field Station
Hear about the suite of research and development for wool harvesting recently shown near Conargo in the Riverina of NSW.
Global demand, new processing, wool harvesting Global demand, new processing, wool harvesting
All industries have issues and wool has global processing and harvesting as top of its list.
Hear what the AWI Board has to say on these and head to WA where the industry is taking important steps to help solve the current wool harvesting crisis.
Wool supply and demand: the latest news from both ends Wool supply and demand: the latest news from both ends
With the world in such uncertain times, it is nice to know that at least the national flock and national wool clips are steadily lifting.
New Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee Chairman Stephen Hill explains the latest figures but gives valuable insight into the strong underlying demand for Australian wool despite the headwinds of ongoing COVID lockdowns in China, significant logistical and therefore financial constraints to the very long wool supply chain.
Rethinking investment on farm Rethinking investment on farm
Finding production efficiency through internal rather than external investment is well worth exploring when interest rates are expected to rise. John Francis from Agrista consulting discusses the options from the Leading Sheep Meat Up Forum in Longreach Qld. We hear also about the shearer shortage and the potential Blackall wool scour from mayor and woolgrower Andrew Martin.
New shearing tech at field days New shearing tech at field days
Field Days are back in real life!
Hear from world champion shearers and shearer trainers about the latest catch and deliver technology shown for the first time in public.
Rex Hocking, yard dog champion and woolgrower discusses the importance of field days to the Lucindale community.
The world’s biggest sheep experiment The world’s biggest sheep experiment
The Merino Lifetime Productivity Project or MLP is a decade long project assessing the lifetime genetic merit of 5700 sheep. AWI and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) have teamed up with five sire evaluation sites, site hosts and nominating stud breeders to deliver a project is worth $8 million dollars in funding from AWI over ten years from 2015, along with $5 million in support from project partners.
Hear how the first results are breaking some long held myths and uncovering new knowledge of the animal that helped build modern Australia.
Wearable Tech: keeping shearers shearing Wearable Tech: keeping shearers shearing
After many hours of trials in sheds thanks to shearers and researchers alike, being able to detect muscle fatigue and therefore prevent injury is getting much closer.
Hear the latest on this innovative approach to prolonging shearer’s careers, improving shearer training as well as the latest new handpiece design.
Geoff Power: industry champion Geoff Power: industry champion
A humble wool industry leader, Geoff Power grew up in Melbourne before becoming a woolgrower in the South Australian Flinders Ranges. He has been instrumental in protecting the national flock from wild dogs and has lead national and state woolgrowing organisations on the way to receiving the Wool Industry Medal in 2017. Hear his amazing journey and why he is so optimistic about the future of our fibre.
Slowing the development of flystrike chemical resistance Slowing the development of flystrike chemical resistance
With a warm and wet summer on the cards for many Australian woolgrowers, the risk of flystrike over the coming months has heightened.
Maximise the effectiveness of your flystrike chemical applications and slow chemical resistance developing, through these practical tips and reminders from AWI’s Research team.
The Young Wool Group The Young Wool Group
A newly created network for young people in the wool industry, aims to connect, educate and empower the next generation.
The Young Wool Group’s founder, Monica Ley, explains why she created the initiative, and how all industry participants can be involved.
New catch and deliver trialled in woolsheds New catch and deliver trialled in woolsheds
It has many people talking but what do the shearers and woolgrowers themselves think of a machine that removes the catch and drag from shearing?
Head to a working woolshed and hear for yourself!
The 21st Century Wild Dog Tree The 21st Century Wild Dog Tree
Displaying dead wild dogs on fences and trees was once a way of letting locals and farmers know that wild dogs were in the area, now these displays undermine support for wild dog management activities.
Ian Evans, AWI’s Program Manager Vertebrate Pests, explains the history of the tradition, and an effective alternative for the 21st century: FeralScan™.
Wool’s achievements in 2021 and hopes for 2022 Wool’s achievements in 2021 and hopes for 2022
As the world still drags itself away from the COVID pandemic, we examine how our fibre fared in 2021 and the challenges ahead. We hear from experts across on farm research and product development as to the big developments coming our way.
Homespun - the new Australian series in a woolgrowing community Homespun - the new Australian series in a woolgrowing community
Living on the Australian land in a regional communities is a fortunate and unique way of life. But how often do we see a true representation of our livelihoods on modern TV?
Producer Bec Bignell, formerly from Kojonup, has made it her mission to showcase the authentic version of regional Australia to a broader audience. With a team of like-minded creatives, Bec produced an Australian series called ‘Homespun’ to show woolgrowers, shearers, shed staff and the local community in a modern way.
Voting online for the 2021 AWI AGM Voting online for the 2021 AWI AGM
The COVID 19 pandemic continues to throw up challenges and postal delays in delivering voting papers in another. However, voting and indeed taking part in the 2021 AWI AGM is relatively easy. Hear AWI Company Secretary Jim Story walk you through it.
Carbon Accounting with new Nuffield scholar Carbon Accounting with new Nuffield scholar
The latest AWI Nuffield scholar, Tasmanian woolgrower Collette Glazik is taking a deep dive into current carbon accounting methods for woolgrowers after a first-hand on farm experience was less than satisfactory.
Make The Label Count; the most important wool campaign ever? Make The Label Count; the most important wool campaign ever?
We celebrate the double century by tackling one of the biggest issues to face the wool industry: European labelling laws that portray our fibre as bad for the environment.
Hear from IWTO Secretary General Dalena White about how the Make The Label Count campaign has already made some headway.
Kangaroo Island recovery, with a surprise Kangaroo Island recovery, with a surprise
One of the most distinctive woolgrowing regions in Australia was devastated by fires in early 2020. Its recovery is occurring at a great pace as it rebuilds stronger and better than ever and, it has a wonderful wool project on the agenda that will interest every single woolgrower in the country!
Shearing innovation: can catch + drag be eliminated? And the digital tally counter! Shearing innovation: can catch + drag be eliminated? And the digital tally counter!
Hear from the man behind the new sheep delivery system, bringing sheep right to the shearer on the board. What will it cost, when could it be available and who owns the technology? Glenn Haynes from the Shearing Contractors Association explains all.
Also Scott Leslie, the woolgrower creating a digital shearing tally counter, a Farmers2Founders success story.
Containment/confinement feeding Containment/confinement feeding
With so many added benefits from feeding stock this way, there is no surprise why so many growers now use this method to control their sheep production system. Hear the dos and don’t of containment feeding from those who have done it well.
AWI Board Q+A and the school wether challenge AWI Board Q+A and the school wether challenge
We hear from two ends of the wool industry. A snapshot from the recent AWI Board question and answer session and then hear about the highly successful secondary school competition bringing kids a first-hand experience with Merinos at their schools.
Breeding Leadership Breeding Leadership
Breeding Leadership is one of the most popular programs AWI offers young people in the wool industry. Hear how this week long course has changed careers and lives with Amie L’Strange who runs a wool growing and stud business but also now sits on the NSW Producer Advisory Panel.
Woolpoll and a sheep handling legend Woolpoll and a sheep handling legend
Where does Australian Wool Innovation still need to improve to better service the woolgrowers who fund it?
Hear from the CEO, Stuart McCullough himself about the independent review of the organisation.
2021 Review of Performance 2021 Review of Performance
Where does Australian Wool Innovation still need to improve to better service the woolgrowers who fund it?
Hear from the CEO, Stuart McCullough himself about the independent review of the organisation.
The UK and Europe post COVID: What for wool? The UK and Europe post COVID: What for wool?
With about a third of the Australian wool clip bought at retail in Europe, what does the re-opening of society in parts of Europe mean for wool demand and the future of our fibre?
Peter Ackroyd shared his extensive experience and knowledge in this vital market at this vital time.
New AWI Chairman Jock Laurie New AWI Chairman Jock Laurie
With a strong track record with the National Farmers Federation and NSW farmers, new AWI Chairman Jock Laurie is first and foremost a farmer himself. In this extensive interview, hear Jock’s view of the current state of the wool industry, future prospects and challenges and why things look so bright for wool.
The world’s biggest fleece competition turns 20 The world’s biggest fleece competition turns 20
The Australian Fleece Competition attracts hundreds of fleeces every year and has been doing so for 20 years. Measuring through both objective and subjective means it gives great feedback to woolgrowers.
We also head to Gippsland, a wool region in Victoria that has been through it all in recent years but now has a very bright looking future.
The next wool selling season; what’s the outlook? The next wool selling season; what’s the outlook?
It’s the beginning of the new wool selling season, after a very interesting 12-18 months for the Australian wool market. With the EMI recovering over 60% since the pandemic low of 858ac in September ’20, AWI trade consultant Scott Carmody fills us on what’s driving Merino wool prices, where crossbred wools sit, and what the coming months may look like for Australian woolgrowers.
EU labelling problem EU labelling problem
In future, there will be product labels placed on all garments in Europe, informing consumers of the environmental impact of the garment on sale.
Current methodology measures wool and other natural fibres harshly compared to synthetic, man-made fibres. Hear how AWI and the IWTO are working to correct this.
It's Super-fine It's Super-fine
The flagship of the Australian wool industry is back with superfine wool prices the highest they have been for some years.
The prospects for the industry are very good, but don’t take our word for it: hear from two families central to the industry for a combined 200+ years: Danny Picker and Trevor Mibus speak to The Yarn.
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?