Orange based research project wins CRC award

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, today congratulated Dr Kevin Atkins and his Orange based research team on their win in the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Awards for Excellence and Innovation for their work on the Precision Sheep Management (PSM) project.

The PSM project competed against eleven other CRC projects from a range of research fields and was one of only three projects to receive an award in the category of ‘innovation arising from the application and use of research’.

“PSM is run from the Sheep CRC at the Department of Primary Industries’ Orange Agricultural Institute,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This well deserved win recognises both the innovative research done by Dr Atkin’s team and the project’s potential to revolutionise sheep management.”

Minister Macdonald said PSM aims to improve on-farm productivity by enabling farmers to manage their sheep on an individual basis, rather than as a mob.

“Unique radio frequency tags on each animal mean producers can identify every sheep, allowing records to be kept for individual animals,” he said.

“Given that the best performing 25% of sheep in a mob generally perform more than twice as well as the bottom 25%, knowing how well individual animals are performing enables producers to make decisions for each animal according to their merit.

“Each sheep can be selected, managed and marketed to achieve optimum productivity and profit using specially developed hardware and software.

“Commercial partners such as major sheep equipment producers have worked alongside Sheep CRC researchers to develop and refine products to enable automated data capture.

“A number of software tools have also been developed help producers monitor their stock and make important decisions.”