Sheep work for us hasn’t been hard for 20
years, I mean we’ve gone out and looked at all the sheep handling equipment that is out there and have implemented on farm and for us sheep work is no harder than putting in a crop. My name is Andrew Slade, we farm in Mt Barker WA. We run five and a half thousand breeding
Ewes, 700 head of cattle. Twenty years ago we started implementing a Laneway system. Before the laneway’s accessibility to some paddocks was reduced in the Winter months. Also the time spent checking livestock and moving livestock and machinery was a lot more. So the laneway network is a network of raceways totalling 40 km of gravelled roads, fenced off. That helps to save labour to make livestock
more cost-effective for us. More efficient. Their set up fifteen meters wide. We’ll have
three main sets of yards through the farm and the lane ways all run to those central points, we make sure that the laneways are cambered, we have
our own grader on farm we use that to maintain the roads there’s a lot of gravel close to the surface which we can use for building roads otherwise when necessary we’ve carted gravel, made bridges
and whatever else is needed. Look the lane ways have probably halved
the amount of time we spent checking sheep, feeding sheep moving equipment from point A to point B and general wear and tear on vehicles is
probably halved as well because you’re not bouncing
across the paddocks, so. Over the lifetime we’d expect the lane ways
to certainly repay themselves. My name is Peter Rowe I’m an agricultural
economist and I’ve been working in the field for over 20 years. I was asked by the department of agriculture and food to look at the economics behind the
Slades laneways. If the Slades built there system today it’d
cost them about $320,000 from scratch to build. They believe it’ll last them for around 50 years and it will save them $528,000, through a mix of lower labour costs as their travelling around the farm faster and also through reduced wear and tear on the vehicle. That’s the equivalent of $2.60 return for each dollar they invest in the laneway system. And the payback period for that would be around seven years. We want to set up our farm as if we want to farm it for life. So we want to make it easier
for ourselves and do everything possible to make farming
enjoyable for us and our future generation. So it’s more about, yeah increasing our capacity
to farm it effectively and enjoyably. The Department of Agriculture and Food WA,
through its Sheep Industry Business Innovation Project, made possible by Royalties for Regions
is supporting and sharing new technologies in the sheep industry. This is improving labour efficiency in the sector and making it easy all-round to run sheep.