June 15, 2024

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New ways to increase Europe’s sheep… – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Sheep production in Europe is on the drop – that means the EU is now importing more sheep meat than ever. Which is why an EU-funded venture is bringing Europe’s primary sheep manufacturing nations collectively to produce new solutions and greatest methods. As a outcome, farmers across Europe are previously looking at an increase in each sheep production and profitability that will also profit buyers.


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© Paul Steven #316843808, resource:stock.adobe.com 2020

Sheep meat and milk production is an crucial market in Europe, primarily in nations like Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the Uk. In fact, with 85 million sheep on 830 000 farms in the EU, as well as an added 33 million sheep in Turkey, Europe’s flock is greater than Australia and New Zealand’s mixed.

Still even with this large range of sheep, Europe is only 85 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627} self-ample in sheep meat. As a outcome, the EU is the world’s 2nd major importer of sheep meat.

Powering this gap in self-sufficiency is a declining sheep market. Considering the fact that 2000, the range of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627}, and through the earlier 10 a long time sheep efficiency has diminished by up to 40 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627} (dependent on the region and the farming technique). 

“Different variables can reveal this drop, but the primary a person is minimal sheep efficiency, or the range of lambs reared per ewe joined on the farm,” says Jean-Marc Gautier, Chief of Services at France’s Institut de l’Elevage.

Having said that, in spite of this negative pattern, Gautier sees sizeable chances for improving upon sheep efficiency. “By improving upon copy accomplishment and lamb survivability, we can make improvements to farm profitability and increase the self-sufficiency of sheep meat in Europe,” he says.

Serving to sheep farmers leverage these chances is the EU-funded SheepNet venture, a community of the EU’s primary sheep manufacturing nations and Turkey. “Working with experts and shareholders, the venture made and shared solutions for growing production without getting to export extra sheep meat,” adds Gautier.

Building sheep production more beautiful

The project’s primary intention was to realize an increase in ewe efficiency of .1 lambs reared per ewe joined. This would be the equivalent of 64 000 tonnes of sheep meat, hence ensuing in a net self-sufficiency of 92 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627}. Furthermore, farmers would receive an about EUR 10 increase for each and every added .1 lamb bought per ewe joined.

“We are self-confident that these variations will make sheep production more beautiful for each the existing and future generations of producers,” points out Gautier.

To realize this, the venture labored instantly with farmers, experts, and other stakeholders. With each other, they discovered solutions and greatest methods for improving upon ewe efficiency and flock profitability.

“These solutions concentrated on all the things from diet management through late being pregnant to colostrum management, causes of lamb mortality and abortion, synthetic rearing, ewe overall body affliction score, and sheep get rid of management,” says Gautier. “We also created a lambing inventory and process for much better ram management.” 

In total, the venture manufactured forty two solutions, 88 suggestions and tricks, and 22 factsheets. All of these deliverables are readily available by using the SheepNet group system in 6 languages. Every single consists of in depth details on expected charges and rewards, prerequisites, references, and feed-back from precise farmers.

Obtaining a large effects

With these solutions in hand, researchers future turned in the direction of dissemination. “SheepNet is all about observe-driven innovation and useful knowledge sharing,” remarks Gautier. “Through our community, we promoted the implementation and dissemination of modern technologies and methods for improving upon sheep efficiency.”

Dissemination things to do bundled the organisation of five workshops per associate region (35 in total), as well as five transnational workshops and a last summary seminar. Other things to do bundled the production of 19 press releases, 143 article content, a hundred and twenty videos, and 33 infographics – not to point out the use of a variety of social media platforms.

In accordance to Gautier, SheepNet’s solutions are previously getting a large effects. “We’ve gained sizeable feed-back from farmers telling us how they are applying our community and solutions to make improvements to flock efficiency, labour efficiency, and farm profitability,” concludes Gautier.

Based on the project’s accomplishment, researchers introduced EuroSheep, a spin-off Horizon 2020 venture concentrated on sheep health and fitness and diet. They are at present operating on a new precision livestock farming initiative.