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Tech talk – and Colrae Farms – dominate annual hogget competition at Callington
A Monarto Agricultural Bureau competition has returned with competitions, guest speakers and a social barbecue.
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The Monarto Agricultural Bureau’s annual hogget competition has combined traditional competitions with provocative talks about new technology in the livestock industry.
Around 60 people attended the event at the Inglebrae shearing sheds at Callington on March 17, with Callington’s Colrae Farms scooping the prizes.
In addition to the competitions, guest speakers from the Australian Wool Exchange and Livestock SA talked about the new technology that the livestock industry will be using.
Judy Paech, a bureau committee member, said the speakers had stressed the innovations in livestock, with QR codes being introduced in SA in early July.
“Technology’s becoming more important than ever before in farming, but the livestock industry doesn’t have as much AI,” she said.
“Consumers are now wanting to know where their bales of wool are coming from, how the sheep is shorn and whether it’s been humanely treated.
“We’re being encouraged to use QR codes for the sheep because when we shear the wool now, it goes into a big bale … but with the QR codes, the buyer can trace back the bale to an individual farm – it’s all about the traceability.”
The second speaker of the night, from Livestock SA, talked about electronic tags for sheep being implemented in 2025.
There were mixed reactions to the speakers’ talks, Ms Paech said.
“Some people are keen to use the the technology, and others are more reluctant,” she said.
“Electronic tags are a couple of dollars, as opposed to what they use now for 30c, so it’s an added expense.
“This is going to affect everybody down the line, whether they have 10 sheep or 10,000 sheep.”
Richard Harkness from Tintinara judged the evening’s competitions, and Colrae Farms won most of the prizes.
2023 Monarto Ag Bureau hogget competition prize winners
Wool: Colrae Farms; runner-up Wayne Schenke, Brinkley
Carcase (meat): Colrae Farms; runner-up Dean Pearson, Brinkley
Best wether hogget (wool and carcase combined): Colrae Farms, first and second prizes
New hoggets: Nathan Wegener, Colbrae Farms; runner-up Robert Thiele, Monarto
Pen of four four year-old ewe hoggets: Lincoln Willis and Lucernbrae tied for first prize