WoolPro Research & Development Directory 




Introduction About this directory How the information is organised
For more information WoolPro's research, development and transfer programme Research and development priorities for 2000/2001
Extension strategy 2000/2001 Impact programmes Projects


For New Zealand farms to stay viable, farmers need to adopt new technologies and management techniques. They also need to ensure that their products meet the quality expectations of affluent customers in markets around the world.

WoolPro's core business is to help sheep farmers achieve these goals.

  • The research we fund helps farmers reduce their unit costs of production, while increasing the output of wool and lamb from each farmed hectare Sheep Improvement Limited (SIL), our joint venture with Meat New Zealand, promises genetic gains which will offset the long-run downward trend in product prices
  • Woolnet, backed by our appraisal, valuation and marketing services, helps farmers maximise proceeds from the sale of their clips
  • Our education and training and quality assurance teams provide farmers with skilled staff and advice which ensures their wool meets market requirements.
  • Meanwhile, we have worked closley with ADMERDT, Meat New Zealand and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, to ensure that available research funds are used efficiently for the benefit of farmers.

    Our research priorities are set following widespread consultation. The regional Sheep Councils, which are serviced by WoolPro, play an important role in this process

    Extension - getting useful information and technology from R&D programmes out to farmers - is a hgih priority. Our field staff liaise with researchers, the media and farm servicing groups. We also have a comprehensive range of communications tools, including Wool Grower magazine, No.8 Wired TV and several targeted publications.

     Lance Wiggins Managing Director


    About this Directory

    The directory presents WoolPro’s research and development programme for the year 2000/2001. It outlines the extension programmes run and the research projects currently funded.


    How the information is organised

    Extension strategy & impact programmes

    An outline of the ways practival information is delivered to growers, and a list of individuals responsible for particular areas.

    Extension activities

    Brief descriptions of the actual extension activities, with contact details for more information

    Farmer Initiated Technology Transfer (FITT) projects

    All projects funded under this scheme to date are described in brief (completed projects are marked and final reports are avaliable on request).

    Research philosophy & priorities

    An outline of the fundamental principles of the WoolPro R&D programme.

    Current projects

    These are projects currently being researched. Each project is outlined in brief, with note made of progress to date. Contact details for the project leader are included.


    For more information

    Extension activities

    For specific activities, eg FITT funding, see the contact details at the end of the activity description.

    Research projects

    Contact the project leader, or contact WoolPro and quote the project number. Note that for the protection of commercial industry interests not all information may be available.

    For general information about WoolPro’s R&D programme

    Dr Ken Geenty
    Manager Production Research
    Palmerston North
    Tel: 06 356 8611


    Vanessa Burton
    Technical Assistant/Office Manager
    Palmerston North
    Tel: 06 356 8611




    WoolPro's Research, Development and Transfer Programme

    Research and development philosophy 2000/2001

    The priorities for research and development are set by consultation and industry feedback with emphasis on delivering improved farm profit and meeting processor and end user needs.

    Funding is contestable and allocated annually from an R&D budget approved by the WoolPro board.

    Projects are developed interactively to ensure strong programmes that meet stated outcomes. Where necessary they are refereed or reviewed in workshops.

    Individual project funding decisions are based on WoolPro priorities, cost-benefit indicators and the quality of the project and the research team.

    Intellectual property ownership is negotiated and agreed before a contract is signed. Development of collaborative projects within and between research organisations is encouraged. Communication and consultation with other funding agencies is maintained, particularly with FRST and Meat New Zealand.

    All R&D projects must report regularly and have strategies for information transfer to farmers.

    Programmes are peer reviewed regularly by groups of farmers, researchers and consultants.

    Information and technology is shared with farmers through an extension strategy involving WoolPro extension specialists, private consultants and farm servicing groups. Farmer networks including the Sheep Council and monitor farms are also involved.

    Extension is supported by liaison with the media, videos and publications.

    The annual R&D directory is also available in printed form: email vanessa.burton@woolpro.co.nz


    Research and development priorities for 2000/2001

    WoolPro funds research and development (R&D) projects that contribute to improved sheep farm production and profit. R&D projects seeking funding should offer short-to medium-term production results. Applications are more likely to be successful if they are also compatible with the long-term strategies of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), are co-funded by other agencies and include objectives which:

    The following outcome statements and themes reflect WoolPro’s funding priorities set by WoolPro for the 2000/2001 year.

    Extension and transfer

    Outcome statement: Effective information transfer and uptake of knowledge and technology using a range of available extension opportunities.

  • Farmer networks (including Sheep Councils and Monitor Farm Programme)
  • Farm servicing groups/organisations
  • Publications and television programme
  • 1. Animal health

    Outcome statement: Lower cost animal health measures including genetic resistance and minimal chemical use.

    Improved ectoparasite control
    Diagnosis and prevention of Johne’s disease
    Control stategies for other significant sheep diseases, including footrot, bearings and flystrike

    2. Fibre quality

    Outcome statement: Enhanced fibre quality in line with processor and end user requirements with associated price premiums

    Micron reduction
    Improved wool bulk
    Improved wool colour
    Reduced wool processing faults

    3. Forages and nutrition

    Outcome statement: Improved feeding of sheep to ensure genetic potential is realised with enhanced efficiency of production.

    Tannin containing plants
    Improved lamb growth
    Better reproductive efficiency
    Pasture persistence and weed control

    4. Genetic improvement

    Outcome statement: Cumulative production improvement in the long-term to underpin benefits from other technologies.

    More effective breeding infrastructure (SIL)
    Improved genetic engine (SIL)
    Improved genetic evaluation (SIL)
    Disease resistance

    5. Sheep handling and wool harvesting

    Outcome statement: Improved animal handling and more efficient wool harvesting for ongoing viability of sheep farming

    Sheep handling


    Extension strategy 2000/2001

    Getting the information to farmers

    WoolPro is committed to making R&D information accessible and useful to farmers to improve farm production results. This will be a major consideration when allocating funding.

    WoolPro’s extension strategy involves:

    Impact programmes

    Information and technology from R&D projects within the five main focus areas is co-ordinated and packaged by 'impact programme' leaders. This is to ensure that these five key outcome areas provide effective resources for the extension strategy above.

    The impact programmes and leaders are as follows:

    Animal health
    Alan Marshall Christchurch 03 348 4028
    Fibre quality
    Lew Willoughy Napier 06 835 1888
    Robert Pattison Dunedin 03 477 7353
    Forages and nutrition
    Richard Gavigan Masterton 06 378 8106
    Genetic improvement
    Alan Marshall Christchurch 03 348 4028


    The following documents are in PDF format and can be downloaded for viewing or printing with Adobe Acrobat.  If you don't have Acrobat  the Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe web site www.adobe.com.

    1. Animal health

    Click here for a copy of the Projects document

    • Control of vaginal prolapse in ewes
    • Calcium and bearings in ewes
    • Subclinical Johne's disease
    • Development of a defined subunit vaccine against Johne’s disease
    • Novel Johne's vaccine
    • Molecular genetic fly control
    • Novel actives and formulating agents for control of flystrike on sheep
    • Ewe immunology and production
    • Sheep louse immunology
    2. Extension and transfer

    Click here for a copy of the Projects document

    • New Zealand Sheep Council
    • No. 8 Wired TV
    • Wool Grower and other publications
    • Monitor Farm programme
    • Other seminars and field days
    3. Fibre quality

    Click here for a copy of the Projects document

    • Wool bulk breeding
    • Wool crimp
    • Winter wool growth
    4. Forages and nutrition

    Click here for a copy of the Projects document

    • Advanced phystochemical solutions for premium products
    • Tannins and ewe production - on farm
    • Lotus in pastures
    • Designer swards for increased lamb growth
    • Pasture persistence
    • Biological control of hieracium
    • Poukawa elite lamb
    • Clover root weevil
    • Increased weaning percentage: novel strategic supplementation
    • Bypass protein and lamb survival
    5. Genetic Improvement

    Click here for a copy of the Projects document

    • Segregation of wool traits
    • Poukawa elite lambs
    • Genetics and behaviour in sheep
    • High versus low breeding efficiency ewes
    • Sheep crossbreeding
    • Ranking mid-micron sheep for fitness of purpose
    • Fine wool developments for SIL
    • Enhancements to the SIL animal evaluation system
    • Dagginess breeding values
    • SIL genetic engine enhancements
    6. Sheep Handling & Wool Harvesting

    Click here for a copy of the Projects document

    • Sheep handling and crutching systems
    • Increasing new-born lamb survival through mid-pregnacy shearing
    • Sheep for profit
    FITT project summaries Click here for a copy of the Projects document RD-FITT.pdf
    Keeping Thistles Out Of The Clip Click here for a copy of the Thistles document W-pal_thistl.pdf