LAMB producers at this week’s LambEx 2016 conference in Albury will get early access to RamSelect Plus, the latest version of the popular sheep genetic selection app.
Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) chief executive officer James Rowe said RamSelect Plus featured more precise genetic selection tools, as well as new benchmarking and ram team management tools.
Among the enhancements is a wider choice of standard industry indexes, such as Fibre Production plus or Dual Purpose, that they can then use as the basis for finessing the emphasis that they need for their own flock.
“There is also an important new feature that allows the user to restrict their search to animals that have particular ASBVs within pre-set limits or only look for polled rams if this is a preference.
“With genetic improvement being the most reliable way to increase flock productivity, the new version of RamSelect provides the tools to more easily manage your main genetic asset – the ram team – and how to enhance its value year-by-year with well-targeted new purchases,” Professor Rowe said.
“Users can now benchmark their ram teams and new ram selections against industry averages and track the impact of their rams over time using a series of ram team management tools.
“You can enter data on current and past rams and then keep the list up to date by automatically saving your new purchases.”
Professor Rowe said because choosing the right rams depended on the genetic profile of the ewe flock, the Sheep CRC had also added functionality to incorporate DNA Flock Profile test results for commercial flocks to help set search criteria for future ram purchases.
“This is a new approach being developed by the CRC and one that is already attracting a lot of industry interest.”
RamSelect.com.au was developed by the Sheep CRC in conjunction with Telstra, NSW DPI, and Pivotal Labs, and is underpinned by objective data from Sheep Genetics in the form of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) from MERINOSELECT, LAMBPLAN and DOHNE.
The new version of the app, now live and available for use, will be officially launched at the Sheep CRC’s LambEx breakfast event on Thursday.
The web-based app is available on laptop, mobile and tablet at www.ramselect.com.au, and builds on the success of the first version, which attracted listings of 12,000 rams from more than 120 studs – close to 10 per cent of the national ram market – within four months of its release in July last year.
Professor Rowe said the new-look RamSelect.com.au was based on its original intuitive and easy-to-use design, and with greatly enhanced functionality it was likely to have real impact.
“RamSelect Plus really is a significant advancement in enabling ram buyers to easily identify the genetics which precisely align with their breeding objectives,” he said.
Prof. Rowe said the success of RamSelect.com.au had encouraged the CRC to pursue similar tools to improve other aspects of sheep management.
“Big data is changing the world around us and the Sheep CRC is at the forefront of driving that change within the sheep industry by analysing data and presenting it in a format that is meaningful to producers,” he said.