AWEX Begins On Farm eBale Trials

The Australian Wool Exchange has commenced on farm eBale (unique Bale-ID) trials. Two properties - one in New South Wales and the other in Victoria - were chosen as pilot trial sites.

Each wool pack has a unique identifier (eBale-ID) stored on a combination RFID and QR Code tag placed on the Bale Label.

"The QR code has been chosen for on farm application, as it can be easily read by a smartphone using the AWEX WoolClip App. This means that there is no requirement to have additional technology/hardware on farm. The RFID is best used in higher volume environments (warehouses, carriers, dumps etc.) where fixed and mobile scanners would be utilized," said AWEX CEO Mark Grave.

Each unique Bale-ID is linked to the contents of each bale of wool and captured (on farm) using the WoolClip App. The data is released to the marketing organization (broker) when the classer's specification is complete.

"The purpose of the eBale trial is to test, track and assess the progress of each uniquely identified bale of wool through the supply chain," said Grave. "Traceability, provenance and product integrity are major drivers in Australian agriculture today along with increased efficiencies in logistics. The level of interest in the potential application of eBale extends through the entire wool supply chain.

"In this first phase, we will carefully monitor the performance of the eBale tag, how it is used and its potential application at each location. Initially, the eBale trial will focus on Western Australia, but AWEX has received strong inquiry from stakeholders in the Eastern States. If growers, brokers, buyers and/or processors are interested in participating in the trial, contact your Broker or contact AWEX direct on 02 9428 6100."

This phase of the eBale trial consists of 10,000 tags containing a combination RFID/QR Code. The tags will be applied and captured on farm at the time of shearing. The trial will include a range of climates, wool types and clip sizes.

One tag is applied to each wool pack and the unique bale-ID is captured and added to the bale details, via the WoolClip App when adding bales to the Wool Book. The unique Bale-ID will be read at various stages in the supply chain.

AWEX staff will be on hand at the start of shearing to provide training to shed staff including the classer, presser, contractor and grower on how to how to successfully participate in the eBale trial. AWEX's WoolClip support services will be available to follow up with participants as each clip progresses through the system.

At the conclusion of the trial, an independent cost benefit analysis will be completed.

Source: AWEX