Precision Sheep Farming - a slight start

SheepNet survey on PLF

In 2018, a survey was conducted in the countries of the European project SheepNet (France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Hungary) to evaluate how sheep farmers view the electronic identification (EID).

1148 surveys were collected, of which almost 75% were from France or Ireland.

MAIN FINDINGS:

  • There is a favourable context for precision sheep farming
  • and yet, the level of equipment on sheep farms in still low
  • there is a stronger breakthrough for precision sheep farming in large flocks
  • Cost: the main drawback for getting the equipment
  • EID is mainly values for recording animal movements

CONCLUSION

Today the ovine production is in a favourable context to develop precision sheep farming (widespread use of EID and expansion of new technologies). Yet, only 38% of farms are equipped with tools that maximize the benefits of EID. Overall, dairy farms better equipped than meat farms.

The level of equipment of the farms depends on flock size, with nearly 75% of the farms with more than 500 ewes equipped. The cost of materials is the first barrier to the equipment of sheep farms. These two points show a lack of favourable perception of the cost/ benefit ratio during the investment.

To date, the benefits of electronic identification remain limited to the management of animal movements. To promote a better use of the latter, a cost/benefit of investments approach should be carried out as well as a better communication on the possible benefits.

 

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