USING hard data as a guide Craig Wilson says the synergies between primary industries such as sheep and cropping offer enormous opportunities for rural and regional Australia.
Speaking to Marius Cumming on The Yarn podcast, Mr Wilson of Wagga spoke about the opportunities to make money from sheep and wool and help pay for cropping inputs at the same time.
He also said the sheep and wool industry was integral in terms of attracting labor to country towns.
Shearers were needed and this employment was good for strengthening the economy.
Mr Wilson is convener of the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge and in recent times he has started the Australian Merino Lamb Trial.
The Australian Merino Lamb Trial features 25 wether lambs from 25 commercial flocks. These lambs are currently grazing on crops. To put the level of achievement of some of these lambs into perspective Mr Wilson confirmed that the trial sheep had put on a staggering 30 kilograms of weight in just three months.
"It is just amazing what they are able to do ...it is not bad when you can harvest the crop at the end as well," Mr Wilson said. He explained that by running sheep and lambs hand-in-hand with cropping enterprises there were benefits for both sides.
"There is a whole lot to gain from this approach, and this information," he said.
Mr Wilson said the Australian Merino Lamb Trial would run for six months and the aim was to measure gains from the lambs and the cropping in terms of profitability.
"It is going to be fascinating to see what these lambs can do," he said.
"We will be able to bring all of that information back to (calculate) net profitability per head and per team," he said. Mr Wilson said there was enough diversity within Merino genetics to get some real benefits.
"I think the Merino has really evolved in the last 20 years," he said.
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The story Synergies abound for grains and cropping enterprises combined with sheep first appeared on The Rural.