Genetics

WA ram buyers to test genetic selection skills in mock sale

Sheep Central, April 9, 2015
At the Merinotech RamSelect workshop were, from left, DAFWA sheep genetics development officer Meghan Cornelius, Tim House, Frank House and Ed Riggall.

At the Merinotech RamSelect workshop were, from left, DAFWA sheep genetics development officer Meghan Cornelius, Tim House, Frank House and Ed Riggall.

WA sheep producers will learn how to combine genetic and live ram selection at a mock sale in Kojonup next week.

The mock sale will be part of the next RamSelect workshop in WA, on April 15 at Anderson Rams in Kojonup.

It follows a RamSelect workshop at Merinotech Intaba on March 18, presented by WA sheep consultants Ed Riggall and Joe Young to participants from a range of local wool and prime lamb production businesses.

The Merinotech workshop was largely theory-based, and the workshop at Anderson Rams will provide an opportunity for participating producers to put the theory into practice and use Australian Sheep Breeding Values to choose rams at a mock ram sale.

The WA Department of Agriculture and Food said the Sheep CRC RamSelect workshops provide producers with objective tools to assist them in selecting rams with the right genes.

Workshops aim to increase confidence with ASBVs

Department sheep genetics development officer Meghan Cornelius said the aim of the workshop was to increase producer confidence in choosing rams for purchase using Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs), along with visual assessment.

“The performance of a ram’s progeny can’t accurately be estimated simply by looking at a ram,” Ms Cornelius said.

“Selection is much easier with the use of more accurate tools such as breeding values.

“The workshop also aims to help producers define their breeding objectives, and understand how to effectively use ASBVs and indexes.

“We outline how improved ram selection increases returns, and how producers can calculate how much more they can afford to pay for a ram with better figures.”

More information about genetic selection using Australian Sheep Breeding Values is available on the department website at agric.wa.gov.au

Sheep producers interested in participating in or hosting RamSelect workshops should contact Meghan Cornelius on (08) 9821 3250 or email [email protected]

RamSelect workshops are being delivered with the assistance of the department as part of the Sheep Industry Business Innovation project, made possible by Royalties for Regions.

Source: DAFWA

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