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

Sheep generation in Europe is on the decrease – this means the EU is now importing additional sheep meat than at any time. Which is why an EU-funded undertaking is bringing Europe’s leading sheep producing countries collectively to produce new solutions and most effective tactics. As a outcome, farmers across Europe are currently seeing an increase in equally sheep generation and profitability that will also reward individuals.


© Paul Steven #316843808, 2020

Sheep meat and milk generation is an essential field in Europe, specially in countries like Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the Uk. In truth, with eighty five million sheep on 830 000 farms in the EU, in addition an extra 33 million sheep in Turkey, Europe’s flock is more substantial than Australia and New Zealand’s blended.

Still even with this big amount of sheep, Europe is only 85 {d5f2c26e8a2617525656064194f8a7abd2a56a02c0e102ae4b29477986671105} self-enough in sheep meat. As a outcome, the EU is the world’s second largest importer of sheep meat.

Powering this gap 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 {d5f2c26e8a2617525656064194f8a7abd2a56a02c0e102ae4b29477986671105}, and throughout the previous ten a long time sheep efficiency has lowered by up to 40 {d5f2c26e8a2617525656064194f8a7abd2a56a02c0e102ae4b29477986671105} (based on the place and the farming method). 

“Different aspects can make clear this decrease, but the major 1 is lower sheep efficiency, or the amount of lambs reared for each ewe joined on the farm,” suggests Jean-Marc Gautier, Main of Service at France’s Institut de l’Elevage.

However, in spite of this negative pattern, Gautier sees significant opportunities for enhancing sheep efficiency. “By enhancing replica results and lamb survivability, we can make improvements to farm profitability and increase the self-sufficiency of sheep meat in Europe,” he suggests.

Encouraging sheep farmers leverage these opportunities is the EU-funded SheepNet undertaking, a community of the EU’s leading sheep producing countries and Turkey. “Working with experts and shareholders, the undertaking developed and shared solutions for raising generation without having owning to export surplus sheep meat,” provides Gautier.

Producing sheep generation additional interesting

The project’s major intention was to accomplish an increase in ewe efficiency of .one lambs reared for each ewe joined. This would be the equal of 64 000 tonnes of sheep meat, hence ensuing in a internet self-sufficiency of 92 {d5f2c26e8a2617525656064194f8a7abd2a56a02c0e102ae4b29477986671105}. On top of that, farmers would obtain an about EUR ten increase for each extra .one lamb offered for each ewe joined.

“We are assured that these improvements will make sheep generation additional interesting for equally the latest and future generations of producers,” explains Gautier.

To accomplish this, the undertaking labored instantly with farmers, experts, and other stakeholders. Alongside one another, they determined solutions and most effective tactics for enhancing ewe efficiency and flock profitability.

“These solutions targeted on every thing from diet management throughout late pregnancy to colostrum management, triggers of lamb mortality and abortion, artificial rearing, ewe physique issue rating, and sheep shed management,” suggests Gautier. “We also created a lambing stock and process for far better ram management.” 

In total, the undertaking generated 42 solutions, 88 strategies and methods, and 22 factsheets. All of these deliverables are accessible by way of the SheepNet neighborhood platform in 6 languages. Every single incorporates complete information on anticipated fees and gains, conditions, references, and responses from real farmers.

Acquiring a major affect

With these solutions in hand, scientists future turned to dissemination. “SheepNet is all about exercise-driven innovation and functional information sharing,” remarks Gautier. “Through our community, we promoted the implementation and dissemination of revolutionary systems and tactics for enhancing sheep efficiency.”

Dissemination activities involved the organisation of five workshops for each husband or wife place (35 in total), in addition five transnational workshops and a remaining summary seminar. Other activities involved the generation of 19 press releases, 143 content articles, one hundred twenty movies, and 33 infographics – not to point out the use of various social media platforms.

In accordance to Gautier, SheepNet’s solutions are currently owning a major affect. “We’ve received significant responses from farmers telling us how they are employing our community and solutions to make improvements to flock efficiency, labour efficiency, and farm profitability,” concludes Gautier.

Based mostly on the project’s results, scientists launched EuroSheep, a spin-off Horizon 2020 undertaking targeted on sheep overall health and diet. They are presently working on a new precision livestock farming initiative.