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Learning About Sheep Nutrition

Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) is a nationally accredited, two-year course, developed and run by Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST) and supported by AWI and the Sheep CRC.  LTEM provides materials and develops skills to help sheep producers improve animal nutrition, lambing percentages and weaning rates.

Victorian woolgrowers assessing ewe condition.

The course is delivered in small groups of up to five sheep producers, guided by a professional facilitator. Each participant monitors a mob of their own ewes to demonstrate the effects of nutrition and management in their environment.

The course focuses on practice change in key areas:

  • Weaning and preparing ewes for next year's joining.
  • When and what to feed ewes to optimise ewe condition at joining.
  • Linking ewe condition at joining with lambing potential.
  • Managing nutrition mid-pregnancy for single and twin lamb survival.
  • Managing nutrition during late pregnancy to optimise lamb survival and future wool production of progeny.
  • The economics of different feeding strategies.

More than 4,300 sheep producers across Australia have joined or completed LTEM on-farm. Participants weaned 30 per cent more lambs per hectare, as a result of a 15 per cent increase in ewe stocking rate, a 50 per cent reduction in ewe mortality and a 15 per cent increase in weaning rates.

Central to the skills developed through LTEM is the estimation of the quantity and quality of paddock Feed On Offer (FOO). Through AWI funding a standardised web based database of 650 FOO images is now available for producers and extension agents to better assess FOO in pastures in southern Australia.

The FOO digital gallery has been built across a wide range of production zones, including cool climate, Mediterranean and pastoral species. It can be found at //



Lifetime Ewe Management Application App

The popular LTEM course has an iPhone Application, putting millions of dollars of research and extension into the palm of woolgrower's hands.

The development gives producers a mobile decision making tool to optimise the energy requirements of their flock. Whilst not a replacement for the on farm course, the App is a digital extension of it and requires the essential skills of the course such as condition scoring of animals and accurate Feed On Offer (FOO) assessments.

This App was largely created in house at AWI with assistance from RIST together with many who helped roadtest the App in paddocks and sheepyards across the country. Within the App there are various tutorials taking users through the various functions it contains.

The Lifetime Ewe Management Application is free and available at the App store and the Google Play store.