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

Sheep creation in Europe is on the drop – indicating the EU is now importing additional sheep meat than at any time. That is why an EU-funded project is bringing Europe’s foremost sheep creating international locations collectively to produce new remedies and very best techniques. As a final result, farmers across Europe are previously viewing an boost in both of those sheep creation and profitability that will also profit individuals.


© Paul Steven #316843808, 2020

Sheep meat and milk creation is an important marketplace in Europe, in particular in international locations like Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the British isles. In point, with eighty five million sheep on 830 000 farms in the EU, in addition an supplemental 33 million sheep in Turkey, Europe’s flock is even bigger than Australia and New Zealand’s merged.

Nonetheless even with this significant number of sheep, Europe is only 85 % self-adequate in sheep meat. As a final result, the EU is the world’s 2nd biggest importer of sheep meat.

Driving this gap in self-sufficiency is a declining sheep marketplace. Given that 2000, the number of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50 %, and in the course of the earlier 10 a long time sheep productiveness has lessened by up to 40 % (based on the state and the farming process). 

“Different elements can make clear this drop, but the principal just one is lower sheep productiveness, or the number of lambs reared per ewe joined on the farm,” says Jean-Marc Gautier, Chief of Support at France’s Institut de l’Elevage.

Having said that, irrespective of this destructive pattern, Gautier sees sizeable prospects for increasing sheep productiveness. “By increasing copy achievement and lamb survivability, we can strengthen farm profitability and boost the self-sufficiency of sheep meat in Europe,” he says.

Supporting sheep farmers leverage these prospects is the EU-funded SheepNet project, a network of the EU’s foremost sheep creating international locations and Turkey. “Working with scientists and shareholders, the project designed and shared remedies for expanding creation without the need of having to export surplus sheep meat,” adds Gautier.

Earning sheep creation additional beautiful

The project’s principal goal was to obtain an boost in ewe productiveness of .1 lambs reared per ewe joined. This would be the equal of 64 000 tonnes of sheep meat, thus ensuing in a net self-sufficiency of 92 %. Also, farmers would get an somewhere around EUR 10 boost for each individual supplemental .1 lamb bought per ewe joined.

“We are self-confident that these modifications will make sheep creation additional beautiful for both of those the present and upcoming generations of producers,” explains Gautier.

To obtain this, the project worked straight with farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders. With each other, they discovered remedies and very best techniques for increasing ewe productiveness and flock profitability.

“These remedies focused on all the things from nourishment management in the course of late being pregnant to colostrum management, leads to of lamb mortality and abortion, synthetic rearing, ewe human body problem score, and sheep get rid of management,” says Gautier. “We also developed a lambing inventory and approach for far better ram management.” 

In total, the project generated forty two remedies, 88 tips and tips, and 22 factsheets. All of these deliverables are accessible by way of the SheepNet neighborhood platform in six languages. Each consists of detailed data on envisioned expenditures and benefits, stipulations, references, and comments from precise farmers.

Owning a significant impression

With these remedies in hand, researchers upcoming turned to dissemination. “SheepNet is all about follow-driven innovation and functional information sharing,” remarks Gautier. “Through our network, we promoted the implementation and dissemination of ground breaking technologies and techniques for increasing sheep productiveness.”

Dissemination routines included the organisation of five workshops per partner state (35 in total), in addition five transnational workshops and a last summary seminar. Other routines included the creation of 19 push releases, 143 articles, 120 videos, and 33 infographics – not to point out the use of many social media platforms.

In accordance to Gautier, SheepNet’s remedies are previously having a significant impression. “We’ve been given sizeable comments from farmers telling us how they are utilizing our network and remedies to strengthen flock productiveness, labour effectiveness, and farm profitability,” concludes Gautier.

Based mostly on the project’s achievement, researchers released EuroSheep, a spin-off Horizon 2020 project focused on sheep health and nourishment. They are now performing on a new precision livestock farming initiative.