Impact of ram selection a focus at field day
February 27, 2018
Wool, carcass and fertility traits will be all under the spotlight for commercial and stud woolgrowers at the Merino Lifetime Productivity Project field day in March.
The field day, to be hosted by MerinoLink on March 16 at “The Vale’’, Temora, will showcase the latest visual and objective assessment data of the 2016 and 2017 drop ewe progeny in the Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project.
MLP is a partnership between Australian Wool Innovation and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association.
The 350, March shorn, 22-month-old 2016-drop ewes will be displayed in their sire groups with pen cards carrying raw data on weaning and hogget liveweight, greasy and clean fleece weight, micron, staple length and strength, fat and eye muscle depth.
Flock breeding values and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association Index will also be provided.
The ewes were fat scanned for the second time at joining in December and the pregnancy scan result will be displayed.
A total of 430, 2017-drop ewe weaners will be on display in their sire groups at the MerinoLink field day.
The 2017-drop ewes were weaned in late September and will carry weaning weights and worm egg count data.
From the two drops, there are 25 industry joining sires with progeny on display, including four link sires to allow results to be reported across the MLP sites.
The participating Merino studs in the MerinoLink MLP site are Bella Lane, Boyanga, Bundilla Poll, Centre Plus, Collinsville Poll, DT Kenilworth, Glen Donald, Greendale, Lachlan Poll, Leachim Poll, One Oak No 2, Pastora Poll, Poll Boonoke, Pooginook Poll, Roseville Park, Tallawong, Toland Poll, Trefusis, Trigger Vale Poll, Wallaloo Park Poll, Wattle Dale, West Plains Poll and Wurrook.
MerinoLink chairman Richard Keniry said the project at the Temora site would deliver key outcomes for the commercial industry.
“As a commercial producer, we rely on studs to provide genetic direction and being involved in MerinoLink gives us access to that information,’’ Mr Keniry said.
Australian Wool Innovation genetics and animal welfare advocacy program manager Geoff Lindon will give an overview of the national MLP project, followed by a MLP site update by MerinoLink chief executive officer Sally Martin.
Ms Martin will cover the data collection and reporting process, and how the trial sheep are managed.
Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association executive officer Ben Swain will outline the conversion of raw data to adjusted sire means and flock breeding values.
MerinoLink chairman Richard Keniry will update field day visitors on MerinoLink’s other projects, including collaborative work with the University of New England.
Visitors will also see a practical classing demonstration by Craig Wilson, Craig Wilson and Associates, Wagga.
At the MerinoLink MLP site, a total of 1170 Merino ewes were artificially inseminated in January 2016, with the ewes randomly allocated to sire groups based on body weight, condition score and the Merino Production Plus Index.
All progeny were visually and objectively assessed at 10 months of age, with the ewe progeny remaining at the Temora trial site for adult measurements of wool, carcass and reproduction traits for the next six years.
The field day will be held at “The Vale’’, Temora, (20km from Temora on Goldfields Way or 10km from Barmedman towards Temora on the Goldfields Way), from 11am to 3pm, with a barbecue lunch available.
Please RSVP for catering by March 14 to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Rachael Gawne on 0428 212 801.
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