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

Sheep manufacturing in Europe is on the decrease – which means the EU is now importing additional sheep meat than ever. That is why an EU-funded task is bringing Europe’s top sheep generating nations alongside one another to produce new solutions and finest methods. As a final result, farmers throughout Europe are by now seeing an increase in the two sheep manufacturing and profitability that will also profit people.

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Sheep meat and milk manufacturing is an critical field in Europe, specifically in nations like Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United kingdom. In fact, with 85 million sheep on 830 000 farms in the EU, plus an added 33 million sheep in Turkey, Europe’s flock is more substantial than Australia and New Zealand’s put together.

Nonetheless even with this big amount of sheep, Europe is only 85 % self-enough in sheep meat. As a final result, the EU is the world’s next greatest importer of sheep meat.

Powering this hole in self-sufficiency is a declining sheep field. Considering the fact that 2000, the amount of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50 %, and during the earlier ten a long time sheep productivity has lowered by up to 40 % (depending on the region and the farming program). 

“Different factors can reveal this decrease, but the most important a person is very low sheep productivity, or the amount of lambs reared for each ewe joined on the farm,” suggests Jean-Marc Gautier, Main of Company at France’s Institut de l’Elevage.

Even so, even with this negative craze, Gautier sees important chances for improving sheep productivity. “By improving copy good results and lamb survivability, we can enhance farm profitability and increase the self-sufficiency of sheep meat in Europe,” he suggests.

Helping sheep farmers leverage these chances is the EU-funded SheepNet task, a network of the EU’s top sheep generating nations and Turkey. “Working with experts and shareholders, the task formulated and shared solutions for rising manufacturing with out obtaining to export surplus sheep meat,” provides Gautier.

Creating sheep manufacturing additional appealing

The project’s most important aim was to realize an increase in ewe productivity of .1 lambs reared for each ewe joined. This would be the equal of 64 000 tonnes of sheep meat, consequently ensuing in a net self-sufficiency of 92 %. In addition, farmers would acquire an about EUR ten increase for every single added .1 lamb marketed for each ewe joined.

“We are confident that these adjustments will make sheep manufacturing additional appealing for the two the present-day and future generations of producers,” clarifies Gautier.

To realize this, the task labored instantly with farmers, experts, and other stakeholders. With each other, they discovered solutions and finest methods for improving ewe productivity and flock profitability.

“These solutions targeted on every thing from diet management during late being pregnant to colostrum management, triggers of lamb mortality and abortion, artificial rearing, ewe entire body situation rating, and sheep lose management,” suggests Gautier. “We also created a lambing inventory and approach for superior ram management.” 

In overall, the task generated forty two solutions, 88 guidelines and methods, and 22 factsheets. All of these deliverables are readily available via the SheepNet group system in 6 languages. Every features in depth data on anticipated charges and added benefits, conditions, references, and comments from true farmers.

Getting a major impact

With these solutions in hand, scientists future turned to dissemination. “SheepNet is all about follow-pushed innovation and practical knowledge sharing,” remarks Gautier. “Through our network, we promoted the implementation and dissemination of ground breaking technologies and methods for improving sheep productivity.”

Dissemination activities included the organisation of 5 workshops for each spouse region (35 in overall), plus 5 transnational workshops and a final summary seminar. Other activities included the manufacturing of 19 press releases, 143 content articles, one hundred twenty video clips, and 33 infographics – not to mention the use of numerous social media platforms.

According to Gautier, SheepNet’s solutions are by now obtaining a major impact. “We’ve acquired important comments from farmers telling us how they are utilizing our network and solutions to enhance flock productivity, labour efficiency, and farm profitability,” concludes Gautier.

Primarily based on the project’s good results, scientists launched EuroSheep, a spin-off Horizon 2020 task targeted on sheep well being and diet. They are at this time performing on a new precision livestock farming initiative.