Article Summary: It’s no secret that tech tools can boost the way you farm. But what about sheep? There are plenty of ways: Collars let you remotely monitor your sheep flocks. AI uses data to advise on ideal field rotation, keeping livestock productive and property earning sustainably. You can remotely monitor animals and access detailed production data using tools like electronic ID tags, sensors, and AI platforms. This data gives valuable insights into flock health, breeding, and productivity. When you make decisions informed by this technology, you can improve profitability, animal welfare, and sustainability for future generations. Adopting digital agriculture solutions puts you on the path to unmatched success. Let’s explore this in more detail here…

It’s no secret that sheep farming is a tough gig. This is especially true in Australia, where sheep farms face export challenges, climate changes, and demand outweighing supply.

However, through AI and precision farming techniques that use technology tailored to their farms, Australian sheep farmers are learning how to adapt and increase productivity despite these external challenges.

Russ Fowler's family is just one example. They have been in the sheep farming business for generations, right in the heart of Tasmania, Australia. But Russ isn’t one to stick strictly to the old ways.

On his farm, which has a history stretching back almost two centuries, he's found a sweet spot between tradition and innovation. He's brought in a bit of modern magic with electronic ID (eID) tags for his sheep, a neat trick that embeds computer chips into tags for easy tracking and data collection on each member of his flock.

These tags have turned out to be more than just a fancy gadget; they're Russ's way of keeping a close eye on his sheep, making sure he's always in the loop with their health and whereabouts. Plus, the data he gathers helps him make smarter, more informed decisions about their care. 

It's a perfect example of how Russ blends the wisdom handed down through generations with the latest technology to keep his farm thriving. In his view, this combination of the tried-and-true with the new promises a future as rich as its past for his farm.

The rise in Australia’s sheep population and the change in the sheep market

Over the last three years, significant rainfall on the east coast of Australia has led to a surge in vegetation growth, providing ample feed for livestock. This came after a prolonged period of drought, which saw a reduction in sheep populations. However, the subsequent increase in rainfall resulted in a rapid expansion of grasslands and, a rise in the number of sheep. 

The abundance of grass and the arrival of new lambs have significantly enhanced the capacity for wool and meat production on these farms. The cycle of increased rainfall promoting plant growth, thereby supporting larger animal populations, has substantially benefited the sheep farming sector.

Why are low prices a reason?

Sheep prices in Australia went way down recently. In just one year, the cost of mutton dropped over 70%! 

Current to 2023, you can buy 1kg of mutton for only $1.23. There are more sheep in Australia than ever—over 78 million—more than the number of people in Australia. 

With so many sheep, Australia is among the largest producers of mutton worldwide. But other countries are paying much less for Australian mutton now. Grocery stores have cut lamb prices by 20%. Even though Australia sends many sheep overseas, lots still need help finding buyers. 

Experts guess sheep prices will keep dropping due to all this extra supply, affecting many Australian sheep farms and related businesses.

How is drought a factor?

For the last couple of decades, most farms have been dry and without much fresh water. Australia’s drought era made it hard to find clean, plentiful water and healthy pastures for animals to graze. 

Caring for sheep became a difficult job during this time. But, in recent years, big rains came again. It was a chance to build up flocks after years of losses. 

With more food and water, sheep became healthier and had more lambs, and these animals grew bigger and stronger than in past generations. Because of this, sheep numbers and the stock quality grew. 

What other factors have affected the increased lamb population in Australia?

There are some other reasons lamb numbers may have gone up besides drought. 

  • More people wanted to buy Australian mutton, so prices were very good, making you want to raise more sheep. 

  • You also worked harder on breeding plans, ensuring ewes had lambs at good times. 

  • Different areas of Australia get different weather, so some places saw more lambs being born than others. 

  • Plus, other countries expected Australia to sell them lots of lamb meat, wool and other products. 

All these things might have caused you to increase your flocks beyond just taking advantage of better conditions after the drought ended.

Electronic identification tags (eIDs)

Many of you like eID tags better than writing on sheep with markers. The chip tags let you quickly scan a sheep's history on your mobile phone. This helps you spot problems early before it's too late. 

Data shows that if a sheep isn't gaining enough weight, they can get extra food immediately. Tags also help with dry and non-breeding ewes and weaning lambs at the right time. 

You can control genetics better, too, by finding the best rams. Having info on each animal lets you make smarter choices to boost their business. Using technology gets important details that manual records can miss, helping your farms run smoother.

What about’s work with sheep farmers? A bit about Pio… 

Since our founding in 2014 and launching the first integrated pasture management platform, followed by the world's inaugural satellite pasture management tool in 2018, we've set the standard in agtech innovation.

With the much loved Pio, the leading automated and sustainable farm software solution, our focus is on delivering a farm management platform that empowers sheep farmers to enhance their operations, offering tools for smarter, more efficient farming. We're committed to supporting Australia's and the world's sheep farmers in achieving higher productivity and efficiency, helping them meet the challenges of modern agriculture.

Recognised globally for our reliability and accuracy, is trusted by sheep farmers and institutions as the leading agtech solution in the industry. And we're excited about what's to come!

It’s possible to optimise your sheep farming through AI and agtech for a better rural life

Using technology can significantly improve your farming operations. Innovations such as electronic identification (eID) tags and sensors provide important information, allowing you to monitor ewes and lambs' health and well-being closely. This data authorises you to make informed decisions, leading to improved outcomes for your livestock. 

By embracing the latest advancements, like artificial intelligence, sensors, and computer systems, you can follow in the footsteps of pioneers like Russ, transforming your farm into a more efficient and productive enterprise. 

Agtech offers all of us valuable support in streamlining financial transactions and enhancing marketing strategies, ensuring your farm's success in the long run.

Are you a sheep farmer looking to scale your operations or deal with the external and environmental challenges affecting your craft? can help. Head here to learn more about our solutions today.

Until we meet again, Happy Farming!

- The Dedicated Team of, 2024-02-22