Lamb scientist gets teeth into efficiency research

THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) says it has a new lamb production research scientist in Lysandra Slocombe.
Nanjing Night Net

Raised on a prime lamb enterprise near Ballarat, Dr Slocombe has enjoyed a long and diverse career in agricultural research.

Dr Slocombe will be presenting a session on lamb efficiency at the Taste of the Future conference in Hamilton tomorrow.

The research asks the questions: can lamb producers select for more efficient lambs and do they produce less methane?

Dr Slocombe is working on projects in adapting to climate variability and mitigating greenhouse emissions.

She is also involved in the Information Nucleus Flock project, a world first innovation for sheep, providing new information about traits and their genetic makeup to the sheep industry.

Dr Slocombe said the Information Nucleus consisted of a series of flocks totalling 5000 ewes, located at eight research sites in widely differing environments around Australia.

“Each year, these ewes produce progeny by 100 young and proven Merino, maternal and terminal sires,” Dr Slocombe said.

“The progeny is being extensively measured and assessed for current and new traits in meat and wool quality, parasite resistance and reproduction.”

Dr Slocombe sees lamb as a major Victorian industry and one that continues to grow.

“The challenge for food and fibre producers is to continually improve their quality and productivity, while maintaining a sustainable and profitable system,” she said.

“Improved knowledge and technology will provide opportunities for lamb producers to better manage their enterprise and produce more efficient lambs.”

Before moving to Hamilton earlier this year Dr Slocombe worked on the EverGraze native pasture site at Chiltern. She has also worked in sheep genetics in Western Australia, as well as in the beef and wool industries.

Dr Slocombe will be joined by some high profile speakers at A Taste of the future including:

Dr Ben Hayes, Dairy Futures CRC and DPI Bundoora – Improving feed conversion efficiency and lifetime profitability using genetic markers. Associate Professor Phil Vercoe, University of Western Australia – novel strategies for reducing methane emissions and increasing energy for production in sheep and cattle. Clare Leddin, DPI, Warrnambool – Managing carbon in livestock systems. Associate Professor Phil Vercoe, University of Western Australia – Ruminant microbes, the types, their function and how we can manipulate them. A Taste of the Future will be held at DPI Hamilton, Mt Napier Road on October 27 from

9.30am to 3pm. To register, please contact Sandra Greenaway on (03) 5573 0971 or email

[email protected]论坛.

This event is supported by the $28 million Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program made up of major research groups across Australia.

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