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AWEX EMI 1130 -5
Micron 17 1682 -1
Micron 18 1504 -
Micron 19 1393 +1
Micron 20 1338 -7
Micron 21 1286 -21
Micron 22 1276 -29
Micron 25 716n +17
Micron 26 518 +13
Micron 28 355 -2
Micron 30 328 +3
Micron 32 285 +3
MCar 721 -1

R&D update into simple OFFM – and follicle density

An AWI-funded project to develop a simple device for on-farm fibre measurement (OFFM) is in the final stages of R&D, and in January the project was extended to include follicle density.

The Zondii research team and Smith family at Glenwood Merinos.

An AWI-funded project to develop a simple device for on-farm fibre measurement (OFFM) is in the final stages of R&D, and in January the project was extended to include follicle density.

AWI teamed up with Australian start-up company Zondii in 2022 to investigate whether the company’s patented Artificial Intelligence and imaging technology can be used to successfully measure wool’s micron, and potentially colour and crimp.

Results received in January 2023 confirmed the ability of a hand-held device to measure wool micron and colour, with further work progressing on the feasibility of measuring crimp. An additional smartphone solution is also in the final stages of R&D with updates to be provided in the coming months.

“It has been incredibly exciting to have reached a stage where we are using our solution alongside existing industry wool measurement tools, to validate the accuracy and speed of the new technology,” said Zondii Founder, Danielle Morton.

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Zondii has also commenced R&D into follicle density measurement, using a hand-held device, in real time, on farm. The measurement campaign was successfully undertaken in the last week of January, at ‘Glenwood’ near Wellington in NSW. AWI and the Zondii team extend their thanks to the Smith family for making the testing possible. Results for this R&D will take several months, as the team waits for the turnaround required for follicle density comparison tests.

“Follicle density is important because woolgrowers who select sheep with greater wool follicle density can improve both the quantity and quality of the wool in their flock. At present, although wool follicle density can be measured using ‘histology’, few woolgrowers find this process to be either economically or logistically viable,” said AWI Program Manager Agri-Technology, Carolina Diaz.

“It is anticipated that the availability of a more affordable and easier to access solution to on-farm fibre measurement would encourage more woolgrowers to use it and enable those already using it to test more of their flock than present.”

The Zondii team are continuing to speak with woolgrowers across the country to determine if the technology will be a good fit for their farms, with further on-farm trials continuing over the coming months. To become an early adopter and join the Zondii wool waitlist, scan the QR code or visit www.zondii.com/agritech-wool  

zondii_QR.jpg

 

 

This article appeared in the March 2023 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged.

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