THE path towards profit can have more than one route, and what every sheep breeder wants from their flock might just be a little bit different.
What is important for breeders is knowing how they want their sheep to perform, and that their genetic potential lines-up with their expectations.
The ‘Lambs Alive’ group run by Jason Trompf is undertaking a demonstration funded by Meat & Livestock Australia and Agriculture Victoria, where all group members will have the opportunity to develop a breeding objective for their sheep enterprise. Further to that, six host farms will benchmark the genetic potential and improvement of their flocks over five years.
Genetic potential will be assessed via the ‘Flock Profile’ tool which provides a flock average for key Australian Sheep Breeding Values, such as weaning and yearling liveweight, yearling clean fleece weight, staple length and fibre diameter, as well as eye muscle and fat depth.
‘Flock Profile’ is a genomic test of a random group of 20 ewe lambs. The science behind the test was generated from research undertaken by the Sheep CRC. The materials required and the analysis of the samples is undertaken by Neogen. To read more about the package, click here.
Assessments of genetic potential at the start and end of the demonstration will be used as an indicator of genetic improvement.
Group co-ordinator Jason Trompf said while some sites would collect key phenotypic data to monitor changes in sheep and ensure they are on track to meet the breeding objective, for others seeing the change in the genetic potential was what’s really important and will cement if the ram buying decisions have been the right ones to deliver the desired outcomes.
Host farms will undertake the initial benchmarking of genetic potential at the 2021 lamb marking. Updates will be provided as the results come to hand.
- Victorian producers interested in setting a breeding objective for their own enterprises, please contact Nick Linden from Agriculture Victoria 0438 369 486.
Source: Agriculture Victoria