June 25, 2024


The business lovers

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

Sheep manufacturing in Europe is on the decrease – meaning the EU is now importing far more sheep meat than at any time. That’s why an EU-funded task is bringing Europe’s foremost sheep producing nations around the world collectively to build new answers and very best procedures. As a end result, farmers across Europe are currently looking at an increase in equally sheep manufacturing and profitability that will also reward customers.


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Sheep meat and milk manufacturing is an critical market in Europe, primarily in nations around the world like Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the British isles. In fact, with eighty five million sheep on 830 000 farms in the EU, in addition an supplemental 33 million sheep in Turkey, Europe’s flock is even larger than Australia and New Zealand’s put together.

Yet even with this massive quantity of sheep, Europe is only 85 {ae9868201ea352e02dded42c9f03788806ac4deebecf3e725332939dc9b357ad} self-ample in sheep meat. As a end result, the EU is the world’s second major importer of sheep meat.

Guiding this hole in self-sufficiency is a declining sheep market. Because 2000, the quantity of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50 {ae9868201ea352e02dded42c9f03788806ac4deebecf3e725332939dc9b357ad}, and during the previous 10 yrs sheep efficiency has diminished by up to 40 {ae9868201ea352e02dded42c9f03788806ac4deebecf3e725332939dc9b357ad} (based on the nation and the farming technique). 

“Different things can clarify this decrease, but the main a single is minimal sheep efficiency, or the quantity of lambs reared for each ewe joined on the farm,” suggests Jean-Marc Gautier, Main of Service at France’s Institut de l’Elevage.

Even so, in spite of this negative pattern, Gautier sees important possibilities for improving upon sheep efficiency. “By improving upon copy accomplishment and lamb survivability, we can enhance farm profitability and increase the self-sufficiency of sheep meat in Europe,” he suggests.

Supporting sheep farmers leverage these possibilities is the EU-funded SheepNet task, a community of the EU’s foremost sheep producing nations around the world and Turkey. “Working with experts and shareholders, the task designed and shared answers for growing manufacturing devoid of having to export extra sheep meat,” provides Gautier.

Earning sheep manufacturing far more beautiful

The project’s main intention was to obtain an increase in ewe efficiency of .1 lambs reared for each ewe joined. This would be the equivalent of 64 000 tonnes of sheep meat, consequently ensuing in a web self-sufficiency of 92 {ae9868201ea352e02dded42c9f03788806ac4deebecf3e725332939dc9b357ad}. On top of that, farmers would obtain an around EUR 10 increase for each individual supplemental .1 lamb offered for each ewe joined.

“We are self-confident that these alterations will make sheep manufacturing far more beautiful for equally the present and up coming generations of producers,” explains Gautier.

To obtain this, the task worked immediately with farmers, experts, and other stakeholders. Together, they determined answers and very best procedures for improving upon ewe efficiency and flock profitability.

“These answers concentrated on anything from diet management during late pregnancy to colostrum management, causes of lamb mortality and abortion, artificial rearing, ewe overall body condition score, and sheep shed management,” suggests Gautier. “We also made a lambing inventory and system for improved ram management.” 

In complete, the task produced 42 answers, 88 guidelines and tricks, and 22 factsheets. All of these deliverables are obtainable through the SheepNet community system in six languages. Just about every features detailed details on predicted expenses and positive aspects, prerequisites, references, and responses from precise farmers.

Owning a major impact

With these answers in hand, scientists up coming turned in the direction of dissemination. “SheepNet is all about observe-pushed innovation and useful knowledge sharing,” remarks Gautier. “Through our community, we promoted the implementation and dissemination of innovative systems and procedures for improving upon sheep efficiency.”

Dissemination activities bundled the organisation of five workshops for each spouse nation (35 in complete), in addition five transnational workshops and a ultimate summary seminar. Other activities bundled the manufacturing of 19 press releases, 143 articles or blog posts, one hundred twenty films, and 33 infographics – not to mention the use of several social media platforms.

In accordance to Gautier, SheepNet’s answers are currently having a major impact. “We’ve acquired important responses from farmers telling us how they are applying our community and answers to enhance flock efficiency, labour performance, and farm profitability,” concludes Gautier.

Based mostly on the project’s accomplishment, scientists introduced EuroSheep, a spin-off Horizon 2020 task concentrated on sheep wellbeing and diet. They are presently performing on a new precision livestock farming initiative.