Projects / Research

MerinoLink Projects – 2015/2016

1. Nutrition Supplement Trial

MerinoLink is partnering with Charles Sturt University (Veterinary Faculty) to investigate a number of vitamin, mineral and trace element supplementations for sheep on the market.

Current anecdotal reports from producers and suppliers indicates regular use of these supplements on sheep farms, however there is little or no recent literature or reports that investigate the effects of these supplements on growth rates and health in sheep in eastern Australia.

2. Genomic Demonstration and Validation Project

MerinoLink was successful in securing funding from Australian Wool Innovation to demonstrate and validate the commercial use of the Genomics Tools developed by the Sheep CRC in a ram breeding operation.

The 2011 drop ewes that have been bred as part of the Bluechip Livestock Sire Evaluations and the 2012 drop rams from the Bluechip Livestock Young Sire Program are being utilised by MerinoLink in this demonstration and are based at the Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre.

3. Group Buying Power and eID Demonstration & Evaluation

MerinoLink has been able to negotiate on behalf of members group buying power opportunities. We are able to offer exclusive to MerinoLink members’ discounts of up to 25% on electronic tags and up to 12% on visual tags.

MerinoLink is working with three companies – Moses & Son, Ear Tag Warehouse and Shearwell.

This offer can provide you with significant savings for example if you purchase 1000 electronic tags (NLIS or Non-NLIS) you can save up to $445.00, this would cover your MerinoLink membership fee.

For more information please visit the member section of the website – www.merinolink.com

4. Sheep CRC Partnership

MerinoLink supported the Sheep CRC Re-bid Application to extend the program for another 5 years (2014-2019). This application was successful. MerinoLink members will benefit by being involved in the planning, development and evaluating new technologies designed to improve productivity.

5. MerinoLink Annual Conference – 1st Wednesday of March

MerinoLink hold an annual conference each year to coincide with the shearing of the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge.

The conference features a range of topics covering the latest research in sheep and wool and industry trade displays. There is an opportunity for you, as a member of MerinoLink, to have direct input into the program. The conference is followed with the Peter Westblade Scholarship dinner.

MerinoLink members will be eligible for reduced entry to the conference.

6. MerinoLink Sire Evaluation

MerinoLink coordinate a Sire Evaluation, near Jugiong NSW, under the auspices of the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA).

Sires being evaluated in 2014 & 2015 are from the following ram breeders: Billandri Poll Merinos (WA); Roseville Park (NSW); Hazeldean (NSW); Weealla Merinos & Poll Merino Stud (NSW); Mumblebone Merinos (NSW); Centre Plus (NSW); Willandra Poll Merino Stud (NSW); Pastora Poll (NSW); Wattledale Merinos (WA); Woodpark Poll (NSW); Greendale (NSW); Pooginook (NSW); Kerin Poll (NSW); GRASS Merinos (NSW).

7. Lifetime Productivity Project

MerinoLink will be 1 of 3 sites across Australia participating in the AWI funded Lifetime Productivity Project.  The MerinoLink site will be at “The Vale” Temora.  The project will be overseen by the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA).

The Lifetime Productivity project is based on the current Central Test Sire Evaluation model.  90 ewes per sire will be artificially inseminated with the aim of providing a minimum of 20 ewes per sire by the time the ewes are 6 years of age.

There will be 120 sires evaluated over the life of the project.  The F1 female progeny from the 12o sires will be naturally mated and measured for lifetime wool and reproduction traits.

The AI program is scheduled for the 4th, 5th and 6th January, 2016 @ Temora.