Orange Agricultural Institute

Orange, Australia

Orange Agricultural Institute

Orange, Australia

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Richards J.S.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Atkins K.D.,University of New England of Australia
Animal Production Science | Year: 2010

There are several options for managing flystrike other than mulesing. Breeding for plainer animals that do not require mulesing is an attractive, permanent long-term solution. Breech wrinkle is the key predisposing factor for breech and tail strike. Little effort has been made to reduce wrinkle score in sheep because mulesing was so successful and because there is a perception that reducing wrinkle score will reduce fleece weight. Fleece weight will be reduced if single-trait selection for wrinkle is applied, but if breech wrinkle is included in an index, the negative effect of wrinkle on other production traits can be minimised using the same method as that used to accommodate the negative correlation between fibre diameter and fleece weight. Breeding programs for reduced breech wrinkle should be used in combination with short-term tactical management strategies, especially during the initial stages of the breeding program. The need for tactical management will decrease as the program progresses. This approach can be applied using information that can be recorded easily and at low cost. © 2010 CSIRO.


Thapa R.,Charles Sturt University | Kemp D.R.,Charles Sturt University | Michalk D.L.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2011

A successful recruitment event in perennial grasslands is infrequent and when it occurs, the rate of recruitment and survival is low, 1% in most occasions. This paper reports on two field experiments that investigate the effects of biomass manipulation, seed level modification and site preparation on the recruitment of Phalaris aquatica seedlings. The experiments were done through drier than average years, where P. aquatica achieved successful recruitment of seedlings. Recruitment rates proportional to total seed set were 1.313.3% in experiment 1 and 0.54.2% in experiment 2. The control treatment, on average, resulted in 352seedlings/m2 in experiment 1 and 16/m2 in experiment 2 compared with the best treatments which had 500 and 38/m2, respectively, on average. There was poor seed set in experiment 2 before the recruitment event. Presence of existing biomass compared with either removing or leaving the plant material on the ground had greater success on seedling emergence, whereas seed addition had little effect suggesting that microsites may be more important than seed availability for P. aquatica seedling emergence. Soil scarification in general failed to have significant effects in both experiments. Seedlings survived until the following summer, but few then remained through the ensuing drought. This research showed that minimal intervention was needed to encourage emergence and early survival, and provides data on the mechanisms involved for recruitment of a perennial grass species in existing swards. © CSIRO 2011.


McLeod S.R.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Pople A.R.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2010

The objectives of this study were to predict the potential distribution, relative abundance and probability of habitat use by feral camels in southern Northern Territory. Aerial survey data were used to model habitat association. The characteristics of 'used' (where camels were observed) v. 'unused' (pseudo-absence) sites were compared. Habitat association and abundance were modelled using generalised additive model (GAM) methods. The models predicted habitat suitability and the relative abundance of camels in southern Northern Territory. The habitat suitability maps derived in the present study indicate that camels have suitable habitat in most areas of southern Northern Territory. The index of abundance model identified areas of relatively high camel abundance. Identifying preferred habitats and areas of high abundance can help focus control efforts. © Australian Rangeland Society 2010.


Russell B.G.,Pest Management Unit | Letnic M.,University of Western Sydney | Fleming P.J.S.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2011

Feral goats are a significant threat to biodiversity in Australia. However, goats are also harvested by some landholders for commercial benefit and this can lead to disagreements regarding control techniques. In the rangelands of New South Wales, feral goat distribution is closely linked to artificial watering points (AWP) such as tanks and bores. Previous surveys indicated that goat activity was rare more than 4km from water. We hypothesised that constructing sections of goat-proof fencing in areas where goats were feeding on National Parks but watering on neighbouring properties, such that they had to travel more than 4km from the AWP to access the park, would result in a significant decrease in goat abundance in these areas. We tested this hypothesis in Paroo-Darling National Park, Gundabooka State Conservation Area and Gundabooka National Park using changes in index (fresh goat dung groups per 100-m transect). We also measured kangaroo dung and ground cover index changes. Twelve months after the fences were constructed, goat dung significantly declined compared with non-treatment areas and the relationship between distance to water and goat dung broke down at the treatment sites. Kangaroo indices were not affected by the fences. The results for bare ground were the same as for goat dung, with significantly less bare ground and a breakdown in the relationship with distance to water at the treatment sites after the fences were constructed, but this was due to a corresponding increase in litter rather than live vegetation. This technique can be a significant tool for protecting biodiversity from feral goats, without removing the potential for neighbouring landholders to harvest the goats. If strategically used to create zones free of resident goats around the boundaries of conservation reserves, it should increase the effectiveness of other techniques such as trapping, mustering and shooting, by reducing post-control reinvasion. Recognition of access to water as an important management tool should substantially improve our management of feral goats in the rangelands. © 2011 Australian Rangeland Society.


Khliji S.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | Khliji S.,University of Catania | van de Ven R.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Lamb T.A.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | And 3 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2010

Given the lack of data that relates consumer acceptance of lamb colour to instrument measures a study was undertaken to establish the acceptability thresholds for fresh and displayed meat. Consumers (n = 541) were asked to score 20 samples of lamb loin (m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum; LL) on an ordinal scale of 1 (very acceptable) to 5 (very unacceptable). A sample was considered acceptable by a consumer if it scored three or less. Ten samples were used for testing consumer response to fresh colour and 10 to test consumer response to colour during display of up to 4 days. The colour of fresh meat was measured using a Minolta chromameter with a closed cone and a Hunter Lab Miniscan was used for measuring meat on display. For fresh meat when the a* (redness) and L* (lightness) values are equal to or exceed 9.5 and 34, respectively, on average consumers will consider the meat colour acceptable. However a* and L* values must be much higher (14.5 and 44, respectively) to have 95% confidence that a randomly selected consumer will consider a sample acceptable. For aged meat, when the wavelength ratio (630/580 nm) and the a* values are equal to or greater than 3.3 and 14.8, respectively, on average consumers will consider the meat acceptable. These thresholds need to be increased to 6.8 for ratio (630/580 nm) and 21.7 for a* to be 95% confident that a randomly selected consumer will consider a sample acceptable. Crown Copyright © 2010.


Hatcher S.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Atkins K.D.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Safari E.,Flinders University
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2010

Direct and maternal components of variance for lamb survival to birth, 7 d, and weaning (110 d) were estimated by REML procedures in a flock of Australian Merino sheep. A total of 14,142 lambs, the progeny of 421 sires and 3,666 dams, born between 1975 and 1983 were available for analysis. The study has produced some of the most precise estimates of genetic parameters for lamb survival in the Australian Merino. Very low heritabilities for lamb viability (0.03) and the performance of the dam or ewe rearing ability (0.07) suggest that genetic solutions to lamb survival are unlikely to be significant. But, despite the low heritabilities, there is still potential for improvement through selective breeding. The estimated repeatability of at least 0.10 shows that multiple records on the rearing ability of a ewe over its lifetime can increase selection accuracy. More importantly, such repeatabilities indicate that current generation improvement can be achieved by culling ewes from the breeding flock with poor rearing ability. Despite maternal bond score and lamb birth weight being highly repeatable and moderately heritable traits, correlations with lamb survival were essentially zero. These traits therefore have no value as indirect selection criteria for Merino lamb survival. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science.


Hopkins D.L.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | Toohey E.S.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | Kerr M.J.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | Van De Ven R.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Animal Production Science | Year: 2011

A comparison of the peak shear force results for a Lloyd texture analyser and a G2 Tenderometer was undertaken using both sheep and beef meat. The G2 is a new version of the Tenderometer developed originally by the Meat Industry Research Institute of New Zealand and uses an electric linear motor to compress the sample, but still retains the blunt wedge-shaped 'tooth'. By comparison the Lloyd texture analyser can be used with a shearing head derived from the WarnerBratzler type of head. Analysis of sheep samples (n = 148) and beef samples (n = 192) of the same size revealed that the average G2 Tenderometer shear force results were ∼1.3 times those for the Lloyd when testing less tender samples. An examination of the repeatability within cook block samples for these less tender sub-samples revealed a coefficient of variation of ∼12% for both the Lloyd and Tenderometer instruments. For the more tender samples, the average results for the two instruments did not differ significantly, but for less tender samples it was observed that the results for the Tenderometer were more variable than those for the Lloyd texture analyser. Data on shear force generated by the G2 are not equivalent to that generated by the Lloyd and use of the G2 requires more replicates to be tested per sample to achieve an equivalent level of precision to that of a Lloyd texture analyser. As a guide only, G2 Tenderometer values can by multiplied by 0.75-0.80 to give approximate Lloyd results if required for samples of average toughness, otherwise the following model can be used Lloyd = 2.49 Tenderometer 0.72.


Gnezdilov V.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Fletcher M.J.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

A new species of the planthopper family Issidae, with a feature which appears to mimic small salticid spiders, is described as Chlamydopteryx mammoides sp. nov., from Queensland, Australia. Phaeopteryx Kirkaldy, 1907 is placed in synonymy under Chlamydopteryx Kirkaldy, 1907, creating the new combination Chlamydopteryx sidnicus (Kirkaldy). Tetrica scapularis Jacobi, 1928 is transferred to the genus Orinda Kirkaldy as Orinda scapularis comb. nov. and Orinda bimaculifrons Jacobi, 1928 to the genus Chlamydopteryx as Chlamydopteryx bimaculifrons comb. nov. Some new records for Australian Issidae are given. A key to the described Australian issid genera is given, along with a checklist of described species. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press.


Toohey E.S.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | Kerr M.J.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | van de Ven R.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Hopkins D.L.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries
Meat Science | Year: 2011

The effectiveness of a kiwi fruit based solution for improving the tenderness of beef m. semimembranosus and the effect on colour stability was studied. Three treatments were applied; (1) injection with the solution, (2) injection with water and (3) no injection. All samples were packaged using a SmartShape™ prototype and aged for 1 or 14. days. There was a significant effect (P< 0.001) of the kiwi fruit solution on shear force, with no difference between samples injected with water and those not injected. For compression of the samples no fixed effects were significant (P> 0.05). Samples not injected (control) were the darkest (lowest L* values) with no difference between samples injected with water and those injected with kiwi fruit solution. Injected samples had lower a* (redness) values than non-injected samples. In general the samples not injected had higher ratio (630/580. nm) values indicating less formation of metmyoglobin. © 2011.


Munn A.J.,University of Sydney | Dawson T.J.,University of New South Wales | McLeod S.R.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2010

Fermentative digestion in an expanded foregut region has evolved independently among Australia's marsupial kangaroos as well as among placental ruminants. However, notable differences occur in the form and function of the kangaroo and ruminant forestomachs, the main site of fermentation; kangaroos possess a tubiform forestomach, reminiscent of the horse colon, whereas ruminants possess a large vat-like structure. How these differences in gut form might influence kangaroo and sheep ecologies is uncertain. We compared diet choice, apparent digestibility (dry matter), food intake and grazing behaviour of Australia's largest kangaroo, the red kangaroo Macropus rufus and the ruminant sheep Ovis aries. Digestive efficiencies were comparable with other studies, 52% for kangaroos and 59% for sheep, but were not significantly different. Per animal, the smaller red kangaroos (body mass 24 kg) ingested less food than the larger sheep (50 kg), but both species engaged in food harvesting for the same length of time each day (c. 10 h). However, sheep spend additional time re-processing ingesta via rumination, a strategy not used by kangaroos. Kangaroos were more selective in their diet, having a narrower niche compared with sheep. The tubiform forestomach of kangaroos appears to support long foraging bouts, mainly in the evening and early morning; kangaroos rested during the hottest parts of the day. Conversely, sheep feed in short bursts, and gut-filling during feeding bouts is partly dependent on the animal freeing forestomach space by ruminating previous meals, possibly increasing water requirements of sheep through activity and thermal loads associated with more frequent feeding. Water use (L day-1) by kangaroos was just 13% that of sheep, and kangaroos were able to concentrate their urine more effectively than sheep, even though the kangaroos' diet contained a high amount of high-salt chenopods, providing further support for potentially lower grazing impacts of kangaroos compared with domestic sheep in Australia's arid rangelands. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Zoology © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.

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