Lifetime Ewe Management
The nationally-accredited Lifetime Ewe Management course allows sheep producers to monitor and demonstrate the effects of nutrition and management on a mob of their own ewes in their environment.
The Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) training program was developed by the AWI-funded Lifetime Wool project and Rural Industry Skills Training (RIST) and commenced in 2005/06.
The content of LTEM is based largely on scientific outcomes from the Lifetime Wool project which quantified the impacts of nutrition throughout the reproductive cycle on ewe and progeny performance over their lifetime.
Around 4000 sheep producers across Australia have joined or completed LTEM. AWI currently supports woolgrower participation by offering levy payers a $1,000 subsidy on the LTEM course fee.
About Lifetime Ewe Management
The course is delivered in small groups of five to seven sheep producers that meet six times per year with a professional facilitator. During these hands-on sessions, the group visits each participating farm and learn skills in condition scoring, pasture assessment and best practice ewe and lamb management to increase reproduction efficiency and wool production, mainly through reducing ewe and lamb mortality.
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.
On average, participants report an increase in stocking rate of 9.3%, increase in marking and weaning percentage by 7% and a 25% reduction in ewe mortality.
ABOUT LIFETIME EWE MANAGEMENT
The LTEM course is delivered in small groups of five to seven sheep producers that meet six times per year with a professional trainer. During these hands-on sessions, the group visits each participating farm and learns skills in condition scoring, pasture assessment and best practice ewe and lamb management to increase reproduction efficiency and wool production, mainly through reducing ewe and lamb mortality.
Feed on Offer Library
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.
Find out more on the Feed On Offer Library
Lifetime Ewe Management Application App
The popular LTEM course has a free app, putting millions of dollars of research and extension directly into the woolgrower’s palm. The development gives producers a mobile decision-making tool to optimise the performance of their flock by balancing energy requirements and the nutrition available.
The app is free to download and available to all woolgrowers. Whilst not a replacement for the on-farm course, the app is a digital extension of it.
- Digital feed budgeting: use the key skills of condition scoring and feed on offer (FOO) assessments covered in the course to complete a digital feed budget.
- Supplementary feeding comparison: Growers can input the amount, quality and cost of the supplementary feed they have on hand and use the app to compare the cost of each feed as fed to meet their sheep’s requirements.
The app include tutorials taking users through the functions of the app.
LTEM app users are able to input data about their mob including joining date, condition score, energy requirements, feed on offer and supplement intake.
Users are able to calculate the energy requirements of their mob on a weekly and monthly basis.
Users are able to calculate the amount, cost and value of supplementary feeding their mob.
Users are able to input condition score data in real time.
Condition scores of your mob are calculated, stored and reported on so users can compare their mob’s condition over time.
Created in-house at AWI with assistance from RIST and many woolgrowers and consultants, the LTEM app has been road tested in paddocks and sheep yards across the country.
It’s been very beneficial to understand the benefits to our bottom line of increasing conception rates, and the importance of feed management and ewe body condition scores.
- Peter Luberda, 2018 LTEM participant and Esperance woolgrower