The Yarn Podcast
What do luxury fashion in Paris and a farm near Burra have in common? Wool!
Join us as we explore wool’s global supply chain; speaking with woolgrowers, manufacturers, designers and everyone in between, about how they're working with the world's miracle fibre. If you have feedback or a question you would like to raise as part of The Yarn podcast, please email The Yarn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Alex Ball of Rural Analytics explains the enormous gains the sheep and wool industry, or the sheep industry has achieved in the last 25 years but puts the ball in the industry’s court as to the future. Where do we want to be in another 25 years? The potential is out there.
Regen Ag enjoys enormous popularity amongst farmers and consumers alike, but what is its definition and what can it and cannot include? Hear the thoughts from farmer, conservationist, agronomist Cam Nicholson from Nicon Ag about the opportunity for Regenerative Agriculture to be a term that helps unify rather than divide.
Recently returned from both the IWTO congress in Japan and a trip to meet with some of China’s biggest wool processors and traders, AWI Trade Consultant, Scott Carmody has a mix of reality and optimism for wool.
One of the most significant roles in the wool industry is the General Manager of on farm research at Australian Wool Innovation. Bridget Peachey now holds this position and we hear from her about the various projects she now oversees. For those looking to contribute maggot samples for the flystrike resistance research discussed please contact NSW DPI email@example.com
or ph: 02 4640 6446 and supp feeding for lamb survival contact Amy Lockwood (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Serina Hancock (email@example.com)
Canadian company Simply Merino consciously uses Australian Merino for their everyday outdoor wear. Recently they came to Australia and stayed on a farm that sold wool into their products that continue to enjoy strong and sustainable growth in demand.
There has never been a more acute need to find alternatives to harvest wool. The research project with the University of Adelaide to biologically harvest wool using a new protein and a new method of removing wool is making significant headway. Hear chief researcher Professor Philip Hynd discuss headway so far.
The Merino Lifetime Productivity project is the world’s largest sheep experiment. The Macquarie site at Trangie, NSW is winding up but is unique as it focuses strongly on ewe type by examining the lifetime performance of a heavy cutting type versus a dual purpose type of sheep across 31 sires and a lifetime of production. Hear MLP Macquarie Chair Matthew Coddington, sheepclasser Chris Bowman, site enthusiast and breeder Graeme Wells and data analyst Dr Sue Mortimer from NSW DPI discuss the trends and industry ramifications for this momentous project.
A quiet revolution has been taking place in recent years across sheep yards and shed design as well as the rapid development of the myriad of sheep handlers that are now on the market. These are all working to make sheepwork easier but which one is right for you? Ben White from the Kondinin Group talks through the important considerations with AWI’s Emily King at the AWI Sheep Handling Innovation and Demonstration Day in SA recently.
One of Australia's largest woolgrowers, Ian Shippen joins The Yarn to discuss how he found a way to shear many thousands of stranded sheep during the floods using the race delivery system. He also discusses the greater issue of shearer shortages and the need to find solutions.
With increased transparency comes increased market opportunities but the number and complexity of various supply chain schemes along the path to the final consumer is complex.
Hear the common sense approach and the good news for woolgrowers from Dr Robyn Leeson, a global leader in this area, principal of STR Consulting and vice chair of the Global Reporting Initiative Global Sustainability Standards Board. She spoke at the Sheep Sustainability Framework about where to for the sheep and wool industries.
Australia’s oldest working textile mill: Waverley Mills in Tasmania, is expanding!
Hear from agribusiness veteran and Waverley executive director David Farley about his plans for not only the growth of this important piece of wool history but his optimism for a much larger domestic processing industry in Australia.
Despite global uncertainty, the wool market has started the calendar year relatively well. Given all factors at play, what is the road ahead? We hear why AWI Trade Analyst Scott Carmody is optimistic for wool in 2023.
From shearing for the Queen to outback Queensland and winning at the Golden Shears, Cathy is a legend of the industry and inductee into the Shearing Hall of Fame. We catch up with her at her bakery in Quilpie and hear what it was like to not only pioneer shearing for women but the be one of the best in the business.
As predators, wild dogs cost the Australian economy up to $100 million annually in lost production and control costs, not to mention the enormous stress they cause wool and sheep producers. AWI’s activities follow the National Wild Dog Action Plan, enabling communities to coordinate effective and humane management of wild dogs. Tracey Kreplins, Research Scientist, Invasive Species, WA DPIRD spoke with our newest podcaster, AWI” Tori Kirk.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hear about the suite of research and development for wool harvesting recently shown near Conargo in the Riverina of NSW.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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™.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
As we celebrate 100 episodes of The Yarn, we introduce you to what is largely an Australian wool manufacturing secret: ABMT textiles.
Julian Collins of ABMT gives an insight into the wool market nosedive but offers hope as well.
And we head to Vietnam to hear how wool is reducing its reliance on China and continually finding new markets.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.