Rainfall test for Katanning Yardstick Merino trial progeny

Sheep Central, October 7, 2021

Marking Yardstick trial lambs from a previous joining were, from left, DPIRD’s John Paul Collins, Federation of Performance Sheep Breeders of WA’s Bob Hall, Merino breeder Max Ewen and DPIRD Katanning’s Wayne Lequaitermaine.

RECENT rainfall has provided a good test for the progeny of 14 sire lines in the Yardstick Merino Sire Evaluation Trial at the Katanning in Western Australia.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development John Paul Collins said the 2021 season had been wet, with Katanning experiencing above-average rainfall; more than 400mm for the growing season to date.

“This has provided a good test for different bloodlines to see how the wool handles the wet conditions,” he said.

The state’s Merino breeders and wool producers will be able to view the progress of the 2020 progeny in the Yardstick trial at the Katanning Research Facility’s at a field day on 28 October.

The full-wool progeny of the trial’s hoggets can be viewed prior to shearing at the field day, which is being hosted by the DPIRD in partnership with the Federation of Performance Sheep Breeders of Western Australia.

Mr Collins said progeny from 14 industry-leading rams would be on display including three link sires used at all sites across Australia to generate Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs).

“Yardstick is one of 10 national sites where breeders can submit one of their sires and the resulting progeny are intensely assessed from birth through to hogget shearing,” Mr Collins said.

“A combination of visual classing scores and objective measurements are collected across a range of wool, growth and easy-care traits.

“Mid-side wool tests and visual classing data will also be available for closer scrutiny for each sire group,” he said.

The field day will also feature information on other research including presentations on feed conversion efficiency, using intensive spring grazing to control red legged earth mite and using objective carcase measurement.

The free event will take place at DPIRDs’ Katanning Research Facility on Nyabing Road, Katanning from 1pm to 4.30pm on 28 October.

For further information or to RSVP for afternoon tea catering purposes, contact Ros Campbell on 9821 3333.

Source: DPIRD.



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