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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
HAVE YOUR SAY...WE NEED YOUR HELP Noting the diverse range of sheep types and selection strategies utilised by the MLP project’s participants, are there any particular traits or questions relevant to your business, or the greater sheep industry, that you would like explored? If so, we would like to hear from you. The following table captures the annual data collected on all 5,000 F1 ewes in the project. Are there particular traits or qualities that are not listed? Wool Measurements Fleece weight, yield, fibre diameter, fibre diameter SD, fibre diameter CV, staple strength, staple length, comfort factor and curvature Growth and Carcass Live weight, eye muscle and fat depth Disease and Welfare Worm egg count, faecal moisture, dag, urine stain, breech cover, crutch cover, breech wrinkle Visual Wool Traits Fleece rot, wool colour, wool character, dust penetration, staple weathering, staple structure, fibre pigmentation, non-fibre pigmentation, recessive black and random spot Visual Conformation Traits Face cover, jaw, legs/feet, shoulder/back, body wrinkle Classing Two classings with independent sheep classers Joining, Pregnancy, Lambing Sire, dam, pregnancy scanning, number of lambs weaned, live weight and condition score (at pre-joining, pregnancy scanning, pre-lambing, weaning) The project includes sires from horned and polled backgrounds; MERINOSELECT and non-MERINOSELECT breeders; ASBV trait leaders and many show winners; breeders with objectives to produce large quantities of quality wool with less emphasis on carcass attributes, while others are improving both quantity of wool, lambs and carcase; others are seeking to reduce micron and increase wool production simultaneously. The project seeks to cover the broad range of potential commercially important objectives. BUT are your needs covered or are there attributes, groups of traits or analyses that we should be carrying out in the project or perhaps should consider in the last two joinings in the project? Please pass on your ideas to AMSEA, AWI or the MLP Project Manager using the details provided below: NAME ROLE CONTACT EMAIL Anne Ramsay MLP Project Manager 0400 368 448 firstname.lastname@example.org Ben Swain AMSEA Executive Officer 0427 100 542 email@example.com Neil Judd AWI Program Manager Genetics 0429 852 575 firstname.lastname@example.org fantastic and were a credit to farm manager Steve Wainewright and his team.” Brett added that the site is particularly interested in comparing conception rate and lamb survival differences between sire groups next year. “The first year of reproduction data from these ewes will be interesting, but I guess we really need the next five years of natural mating to complete the full reproduction picture to add the wool story,” he said. For Elders Balmoral, this was their second annual MLP field day and another chance to inspect the first ever drop of F1 ewes in the MLP Project. The site hosted around 160 attendees and was described by Tom Silcock, the site’s chair, as the biggest and best their site has ever hosted in the 20 years of running sire evaluations. “With 25 sires entered in the 2015 and 2016 drops the 50-way draft was a feat in auto drafting and many hands-on deck to pen up the 50 groups.” When asked about the project results to date Tom offered: “As we thought, the sheep are changing as they get older, we are litmus testing early measurements and the second year of testing is challenging some of these predictions – and that’s what this project is all about.” Considerable work goes into hosting a sire evaluation field day and the MLP team would like to acknowledge and thank the site hosts and site committees for their tremendous efforts in making these days a great success. With the fourth and fifth sites having just completed their first joinings at Macquarie (Trangie, NSW) and New England (Armidale, NSW), the MLP project will have all five sites on display during 2018. To keep in touch, visit www.wool.com/MLP. 2016 drop F1 ewes and attendees at the Pingelly field day. PHOTO: Farm Weekly A 9-month old 2016 drop F1 Pingelly ewe. The Merino Lifetime Productivity project is being undertaken in partnership between AMSEA and AWI. AMSEA and AWI would like to acknowledge those entities who also contribute funding, namely woolgrowers through sire evaluation entry fees, site committee in-kind contributions, and sponsors of AMSEA. A special acknowledgement is also made to the Australian Government that supports research, development and marketing of Australian wool. Craig Dewar and Jonno Hicks attending the 2017 Elders Balmoral field day. ON FARM 37