Tech adds to wool records
New data-collecting technology being used at the WA College of Agriculture Narrogin is upskilling students in flock and herd production, preparing them for industry.
Sapien Technology, introduced into the shearing shed this year, is a computer program which reads data on ear tags through an NLIS stick reader, allowing students to easily identify individual sheep or cattle while collecting data on them such as wool weight.
WACA Narrogin assistant farm manager Emily McDonald said the new method of data collection was the way of the future.
“When it comes to classing time we’ll be able to look at raw data on each individual sheep rather than just looking at the animal,” she said.
“We’ll be able to look seasonally at what that animal can produce in its lifetime.”
Farm manager Stephen Madson said the technology had become cheaper and more accessible for commercial farms.
“When we’re doing the selection of our animals, we can pick the characteristics we want, whether it’s a micron, fleece weight, body weight and this technology helps us more accurately look at each individual animal,” he said.
“The aim is always to increase production, so if we can increase our wool cut 5kg a head to 6kg a head in a couple of years, this technology has helped us make more money.”
Ms McDonald said the students were meeting the challenge of using the new technology.
“We give them a little demo in the morning and then they operate the technology throughout the rest of the day,” she said.
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