SheepNet: What we have learned to date
SheepNet is a three year European project involving the six main sheep producing countries in Europe namely, (Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, UK) and Turkey. SheepNet aims to improve sheep productivity through durable exchange of scientific and practical knowledge among researchers, farmers and advisors across Europe. SheepNet aims to promote the implementation and dissemination of innovative and best technologies and practices to improve sheep productivity using a multidisciplinary approach at national and international levels.
The first step in this approach was to undertake a survey within the SheepNet countries to determine the current issues restricting European sheep productivity. The results of this survey identified a list of topics that are restricting flock productivity. The issues identified ranged from nutrition and health related practices, to housing management and advanced preparation for lambing. Similar issues were identified right across Europe however the ranking of importance of these issues varied by region.
To address these issues, SheepNet produced 42 solutions and 73 practical recommendations (tips and tricks) to aid implementation of the solutions. These solutions have also been evaluated by farmers to assess their benefit and ease of implementation and to allow for improvement for wider implementation across Europe.
SheepNet is open to all stakeholders and sheep producers across Europe. Further information can be accessed from the website (www.sheepnet.network), Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts which provide regular updates (in the native language of all participating countries) to enable stakeholders and sheep producers to engage with SheepNet. The SheepNet website, which is regularly updated, provides information, including press releases, videos, tips and tricks etc., on improving ewe productivity.
National workshops are organised in each country twice annually. Also two transnational workshops are organised annually involving a minimum of 6 stakeholders from each country who exchange knowledge that may be lacking in individual countries on improving ewe productivity. The last transnational workshop was held in Ireland in June 2019 and the final SheepNet seminar will be held in France in September 2019. This seminar will be a fantastic opportunity to learn about sheep production in France and to discover all that SheepNet has achieved over the three years of the programme. To reserve a place, register your interest on the website as soon as possible as places are limited.