Sheep & Goat eID Workshop

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Sheep & Goat eID Workshop - Kyancutta Sport Club, 9 April, 2024

Sheep and wool productivity and profitability was front of mind for producers in Kyancutta at the start of April.

Funded by AWI Extension, Livestock SA, SA Sheep Industry Fund and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), the aptly titled “eID for Productivity and Profitability” interactive workshop and trade event provided an excellent opportunity to connect livestock producers, industry officials and equipment suppliers.

Facilitated by Dr Jodie Reseigh, Program Manager AWI Extension SA, the workshop attracted almost 50 local sheep and wool producers as they transition to mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats farmed in South Australia.

From 1 January 2025, all lambs and kids born after this date will need to be identified with an NLIS accredited electronic identification (eID) tag before leaving their property of birth. By 1 January 2027, all farmed sheep and goats leaving the property, irrespective of age will require an electronic tag.

Livestock SA Project Manager, Pene Keynes informed attendees how Foot Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks in Indonesia and countries nearby highlighted the need for emergency management planning and preparedness for outbreaks. This led to the decision to implement an eID traceability system for sheep and goats in SA (the system was already in place for cattle).


Image 1: Livestock SA Project Manager, Pene Keynes presenting on the importance of electronic traceability for the SA sheep and goat industry.


Approximately $12.5 million State and Federal funding has been made available to fund essential infrastructure for the supply chain and  to provide tag rebates to producers purchasing electronic year of birth tags. Producers that purchased blue eID tags in 2023, but not yet applied for the rebate, must apply for the rebate by the end of April 2024 . Producers purchasing eID tags are eligible a 50% per eID tag incentive, up to a cap of $0.95 (GST exclusive), for National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) accredited electronic identification (eID) tags for sheep from 1 Jan 2024 to 30 Jun 2025:

  • The discount will be applied by the tag manufacturers, point of purchase
  • The discount will be for purchases from 1 Jan 2024 to 31 Dec 2024 for 2024 year of birth colour tags (black). 2025 purchases will be for 2025 year of birth tags (white)

Producer case study presentations were made by Kerran (Gus) Glover, Lock and Chris Lymn, Wudinna. Gus and Chris stepped the audience through their electronic integration journey, highlighting some of the early challenges they overcame whilst adopting new technology. Both provided examples of how they are using the electronic data to set priorities and refine their breeding practices, reiterating the importance of starting with the basics.

Mark Ferguson, neXtgen Agri and Michelle Cousins, Cousins Merino Services provided expert overviews towards the importance of choosing the right eID equipment for your business, and having a “Data Plan” established prior to collecting and interpreting electronic data.

Both Mark and Michelle reinforced the message “don’t collect data you are not going to use”. Experience has shown that producers can easily get lost in a minefield of data if they have not identified the improvements they are trying to make.

Following the formal presentations, producers received 3 minute “pitches” from the equipment and tag suppliers that participated in the workshop and trade display. Each provided useful overviews of the products they offer and benefits to producers.

Producers were able to engage with suppliers and browse a selection of equipment currently available. Tim Johnsson from Breed Elite gave a practical demonstration of how data from the scanning of electronic tags, integrates with reading and handling equipment, providing an excellent opportunity for producers to ask questions relative to their own level of investment.

Image 2: BreedElite provided a practical demonstration of electronic tagging, reading, and handling equipment. 


Image 3: Trade displays and practical demonstrations were a highlight for producers


The theme for the second part of the day was “Planning for success, the importance for data collection to your business” and led by Mark Ferguson and Michelle Cousins. This interactive session challenged producers to think about improvements they would like to make or issues to address, to form goals and priorities for their sheep business.

There were similar priorities from producers during this session, with the majority focusing on the following:

  • looking to wean lambs earlier by improving growth rates,
  • improve fertility and lambing percentages,
  • improve wool value (trying to move to 6 monthly shearing),
  • breed easy care, plain bodied sheep (transitioning to mulesing free)

Image 4: Producers were encouraged to draft a Data Plan which could be used to identify business priorities and assist with equipment selection and level of investment required

For further information regarding the event, please contact Jodie Reseigh:


Dr Jodie Reseigh-O’Brien | Senior Consultant | Program Manager, AWI Extension SA

Major Programs | Department of Primary Industries and Regions

Government of South Australia | Kyancutta, SA 5651

PO Box 310 Wudinna, SA 5652

E: | M: + 61 428 103 886

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