Science Summary

Lifetimewool was a large national project funded by Australian wool producers through Australian Wool Innovation and State Government Departments. Running from 2001 - 2008, it is a highly research and adoption project which investigated the impact of ewe nutrition on her and her progeny's production.

Lifetimewool's Objective:
"To develop ewe management guidelines that optimise ewe production and the lifetime performance of their progeny"

Lifetimewool paddock and plot scale research sites

Animal Production Science special edition 2011 (51) :

View the special edition with full details at 

Foreword to the special edition

The wool production and reproduction of Merino ewes can be predicted from changes in liveweight during
pregnancy and lactation
M. B. Ferguson, A. N. Thompson, D. J. Gordon, M. W. Hyder, G. A. Kearney, C. M. Oldham and B. L. Paganoni  

The birthweight and survival of Merino lambs can be predicted from the profile of liveweight change of their
mothers during pregnancy
C. M. Oldham, A. N. Thompson, M. B. Ferguson, D. J. Gordon, G. A. Kearney and B. L. Paganoni   

Improving the nutrition of Merino ewes during pregnancy and lactation increases weaning weight and survival
of progeny but does not affect their mature size
A. N. Thompson, M. B. Ferguson, A. J. D. Campbell, D. J. Gordon, G. A. Kearney, C. M. Oldham and B. L. Paganoni  

Improving the nutrition of Merino ewes during pregnancy increases the fleece weight and reduces the fibre diameter of their progeny’s wool during their lifetime and these effects can be predicted from the ewe’s liveweight profile 
A. N. Thompson,H, M. B. Ferguson, A. J. D. Campbell, D. J. Gordon,G. A. Kearney, C. M. Oldham and B. L. Paganoni

On-farm paddock-scale comparisons across southern Australia confirm that increasing the nutrition of Merino ewes improves their production and the lifetime performance of their progeny
R. Behrendt, A. J. van Burgel, A. Bailey, P. Barber, M. Curnow, D. J. Gordon, J. E. Hocking Edwards, C. M. Oldham and A. N. Thompson   

Managing the nutrition of twin-bearing ewes during pregnancy using Lifetimewool recommendations increases production of twin lambs
J. E. Hocking Edwards, K. J. Copping  and A. N. Thompson  

Whole-farm profit and the optimum maternal liveweight profile of Merino ewe flocks lambing in winter and spring are influenced by the effects of ewe nutrition on the progeny’s survival and lifetime wool production 
J. M. Young, A. N. Thompson, M. Curnow and C. M. Oldham   

The merit of condition score and fat score as alternatives to liveweight for managing the nutrition of ewes
A. J. van Burgel, C. M. Oldham, R. Behrendt, M. Curnow, D. J. Gordon and A. N. Thompson   

The national Lifetimewool project: a journey in evaluation 
J. J. Dart, M. Curnow, R. Behrendt, C. Kabore, C. M. Oldham, I. J. Rose and A. N. Thompson

Successful adoption of new guidelines for the nutritional management of ewes is dependent on the development of appropriate tools and information
M. Curnow, C. M. Oldham, R. Behrendt, D. J. Gordon, M. W. Hyder, I. J. Rose, J. W. Whale, J. M. Young and A. N. Thompson

Evaluation of the impact of Lifetimewool on sheep producers
A. Jones, A. J. van Burgel, R. Behrendt, M. Curnow, D. J. Gordon, C. M. Oldham, I. J. Rose and A. N. Thompson

Participation in Lifetime Ewe Management results in changes in stocking rate, ewe management and reproductive performance on commercial farms
J. P. Trompf, D. J. Gordon, R. Behrendt, M. Curnow, L. C. Kildey and A. N. Thompson


To browse the numerous scientific papers, publications and reports on lifetimewool, please select a category:

Farmer Case Studies  
Peer Reviewed Scientific Papers  
Non Peer Reviewed Papers      

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Ewe Managment Handbooks
        High Rainfall Zone    (1.2Mb)
        Medium Rainfall Zone  WA  (1.2Mb)
        Cereal-Sheep Zone (1.2Mb)
        Southern slopes NSW & central north victoria (1.5Mb)

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 Peer Reviewed Scientific Papers

Animal Production Science Special Edition 2011

Proceedings of Wool Industry Science & Technology 2002

Proceedings of Australian Society of Animal Production 2004
Proceedings of Australian Society of Animal Production 2006

Proceedings of the International Grasslands Congress 2005, 2008

Australian Society of Agronomy Conference 2006

International Biometric Conference July 2004 

Proceedings of Wool Industry Science  & Technology Conference 2002:

Potential Economic Benefits from Improving Ewe Nutrition to Optimise Lifetime Wool Production and Quality in South-west Victoria
A. N. Thompson and J. M. Young

Proceedings of Australian Society of Animal Production 2004:

Lifetime Wool 1. Project Overview
A.N.Thompson A And C.M.Oldham B

Lifetime Wool 2. Pasture Growth, Utilisation And Ewe Stocking Rates
M.W. Hyder A, D.J. Gordon B And K. Tanaka

Lifetime Wool 3. Ewe Liveweight And Condition Score
M.Ferguson A, B.Paganoni B And G.Kearney A

Lifetime Wool 4. Ewe Wool Production And Quality
B. L. Paganoni A, M. Ferguson B And G. Kearney B

Lifetime Wool 5. Carryover Effects On Subsequent Ewe Reproduction
C.M.Oldham And A.N.Thompson

Lifetime Wool 6. Progeny Birth Weights And Survival
M. Ferguson A, D. Gordon A, B. Paganoni B, T. Plaisted C And G. Kearney

Lifetime Wool 7. Progeny Growth Rates

B.L.Paganoni , M.Ferguson , G.Kearney And T.Plaisted

Lifetime Wool 8. Progeny Wool Production And Quality

M. Ferguson , B. Paganoni And G. Kearney

Lifetime Wool 9. Progeny Back Fat And Eye Muscle Depth

B.L.Paganoni, R.Banks , C.M.Oldham And A.N.Thompson

Lifetime Wool 10. Progeny Faecal Worm Egg Counts

B.L.Paganoni , R.Banks , C.M.Oldham And A.N.Thompson

Lifetime Wool 11. Progeny Genotype By Environment Interaction Using The Reaction Norm Model
K.V.Konstantinov , M.Ferguson And B.Paganoni

Lifetime Wool 12. Estimating Pasture Height For Using Grazfeed To
Predict Ewe Performance

M.W.Hyder , M.Freer And A.Van Burgel

Lifetime Wool 13. Calibration Of Condition Scoring Between

A.Van Burgel , M.Curnow , D.Gordon , C.Oldham And J.Speijers

Lifetime Wool 14. Putting It All Together In The Paddock

C.M.Oldham , P.Barber, M.Curnow , S.Giles And J.Speijers

Lifetime Wool 15. Whole-Farm Benefits From Optimising Lifetime Wool Production
J.M. Young, A.N.Thompsonb And C.M.Oldhamc

Proceedings of Australian Society of Animal Production 2006:

Calculation of Dry Sheep Equivalents
M.W. Hyder

Lifetime Wool: Comparisons on Commercial Farms Show the Benefit of Good Nutrition in Pregnancy on Production and Lamb Performance of Merino Ewes
R. Behrendt, P.Barber, C.M. Oldham, J.E. Hocking Edwards, S. Hatcher, And A. Thompson

Lifetime Wool: Comparisons on Commercial Farms Demonstrate Significant Production Potential for Twin Bearing Merino Ewes and their Progeny
R. Behrendt, P.Barber, C.M. Oldham, J.E. Hocking Edwards., S. Hatcher, And A. Thompson.

Lifetimewool: Managing Nutrition During Pregnancy Of Twin-Bearing Ewes

Proceedings of the International Grasslands Congress 2005:

On-farm participatory research is an essential step towards achieving successful adoption of innovation: 'Lifetime Wool' a case study
C. Oldham, P. Barber, M. Curnow, S. Giles, D. Gordon and A. Thompson

A farmer friendly feed budget calculator for grazing management decisions in winter and spring
M. Curnow and M. Hyder

Proceedings of the International Grasslands Congress 2008:

Australian sheep farmers are increasing pasture utilisation and reducing risk with easy–to-use tools from lifetimewool
M Curnow, J Whale and D Gordon

Australian Society of Agronomy Conference 2006:

Lifetime Wool: Developing effective extension packages for farmers - A case study based on sustained behaviour change principles
M Curnow, I Rose, D Gordon, A Thompson and C Oldham

International Biometric Conference July 2004:

Estimation of Operator Measurement Bias and Precision from an Animal Production Training Exercise
A van Burgel, J Speijers, C Oldham

AFBM Journal Farming Business and Farming Systems Management 

Achieving fat score targets - the costs & benefits.
Graham, P and Hatcher S (2006) 3, 44-57 

Optimising genetic potential for wool production and quality through maternal nutrition
S Hatcher and PR Johnson (2005) 2, 55-63

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Non Peer Reviewed Papers

Sheep Updates 2003
Sheep Updates 2004
Sheep Updates 2005
Sheep Updates 2006
Crop Updates 2007

Sheep Updates 2003

Optimising the nutrition/grazing management of ewe flocks
Chris Oldham, Mike Hyder, Beth Paganoni, Andrew Thompson, Tom Plaisted, Kazue Tanaka, Mark Ferguson and Darren Gordon

Agronomic implications of intensive grazing systems
Mike Hyder, Andrew Thompson and Kazue Tanaka

Sheep Updates 2004

Effects of Nutrition during Pregnancy and Lactation on the Growth and Wool Production of their Progeny at Hogget Shearing
B Paganoni, C Oldham, M Ferguson, A Thompson

Effects of Nutrition during Pregnancy and Lactation on Mortality of progeny to Hogget Shearing
S Giles B Paganoni, T Plaisted, A Thompson, D Gordon

Lifetimewool - Modifying Grazfeed for WA
Mike Hyder , Mike Freer , Andrew van Burgel and Kazue Tanaka

Lifetimewool - Target Liveweights for the Ewe Flock
J Young, C Oldham, A Thompson

Lifetime Wool - Carryover Effects on Subsequent Reproduction of the Ewe Flock
Chris Oldham & Andrew Thompson

Sheep Updates 2005

Lifetime Wool - Dry feed budgeting tool
Mike Hyder, John Young

Lifetime Wool - Farmers' attitudes affect their adoption of recommended ewe management
G. Rose, C. Kabore, J. Dart

What value is a Lamb?
John Young,

Lifetime Wool - The 'best bet' optimum condition score profile for Merino ewes lambing in winter
Chris Oldham, Mike Hyder, Mandy Curnow, Samantha Giles, John Young,
Andrew Thompson

Sheep Updates 2006

Lifetime Wool: Twin Futures
Dr Ralph Behrendt

Lifetime Wool - Ewe Management Guidelines
Mandy Curnow

Fat score or Condition score? - It all depends on what you want to do!
Chris Oldham

Know your audience to increase their rate of practice change - Lifetime Wool as an example
Gus Rose, Carolyn Kabore

Poor ewe nutrition during pregnancy increases fatness of their progeny
Andrew Thompson

Sheep Updates 2007

Lifetimewool:Is it important to manage ewes to CS targets? 
John Young, Farming Systems analysis Service

Crop Updates 2007

Does improved ewe management offer grain farmers much extra profit?
John Young , Ross Kingwell , Chris Oldham

Farmer Case Studies

(these articles appeared in the Kondinin Group's "Farming Ahead" magazine

Introduction to lifetimewool  (pdf 990kB) 2005
Fat Score Response in NSW (pdf 950kB)  2005
Targeted Feeding Moora, WA  (pdf 900 kB)  2005
Stocking Rates in drought, Kingston, SA (pdf 860 kB)  2006
Monitoring pays dividends (pdf 950 kB)  2006
Flock fertility lifted, Ararat, Vic (pdf 650kB)  2006
Whole flock benefits Cranbrook,WA (pdf 970kB)  2006
Economies of scale lift profits, Nareen, Vic  (pdf 550kB)   2006
Ewe Management guidelines for WA (pdf 460kB)   2006
Healthy ewes equal more lambs, better wool  (pdf 200kB) 2008
Raise the stakes in ewe productivity  (pdf 200kB) 2008


Medium Rainfall Zone MIDAS Economic Analysis (WA)    John Young, 2007
High Rainfall Zone MIDAS Economic Analysis John Young, 2007
Cereal-Sheep Zone MIDAS Economic Analysis    John Young 2007
Southern slopes NSW and Sheep-cereal Zone Vic    John Young, 2008
Economics of Pregnancy Scanning (MIDAS analysis)  John Young 2008

Lifetimewool - Methodology for market segmentation based on 'willingness to change' questions in the 2005 survey of sheep producers    Gus Rose  2006  
Knowledge, Skills and Practice Change amongst Producers in Victoria and Western Australia, Gus Rose & Carolyn Kabore, 2004
Report on Tools and Products for Lifetimewool 2008    M Curnow 2008
The response of sheep consultants and extensionists in southern Australia to lifetimewool  - 2008 survey      M Curnow and A Jones   
Analysis of the needs and attitudes of sheep consultants and extensionists in southern Australia 2006 - Mandy Curnow and Gus Rose  
Reactions and Attitudes amongst Consultants and Extensionists associated with the lifetimewool project    Gus Rose and M Curnow, 2004

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