HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : Aug 07 - Sep 07 Supplement
By Dr Gio Braidotti Photo by Kellie Penfold In 2005, the support tools needed for measurement-based selective breeding of Merinos were brought together into a single database with a national scope that uses a single language to express breeding values. Operating as a joint program of AWI and Meat and Livestock Australia, the Sheep Genetics Australia (SGA) service aims to complement the skills of ram breeders and sheep classers, especially for traits not readily assessed visually, such as staple strength or internal parasite characteristics. Despite uptake among breeders meeting expectations, SGA manager Richard Apps is keen to make it easier for growers to gain experience with the ser vice. "The drought has seen the industry in sur vival mode for a number of years now, which may have created a hurdle to uptake," he says. In response, Mr Apps is promoting a new program called 'Try Before You Buy'. "It provides the opportunity for breeders to trial MERINOSELECT, the SGA service dedicated to Merinos, by participating in a one-off non-commercial analysis free of charge," Mr Apps says. "SGA staff will then visit the breeder -- anywhere in Australia -- and take them through the results." By converting objective measurements into breeding values, SGA can assist breeders to capture more value from objective measurement when making selection decisions. Because they are expressed using a single standard called ASBVs (Australian Sheep Breeding Values), the data can Benchmarking gains momentum With a national database processing genetic information on more than a million Merinos using a single language to express breeding values, Sheep Genetics Australia is keen to help improve access to this breeding tool also help growers compare the genetic potential of rams and ewes and their progeny for a range of traits, across flocks, independent of environment. Breeding values are typically expressed as the difference between an individual animal's performance and the average performance of the flock in which the animal was run. For ram breeders and commercial wool producers, ASBVs are provided through MERINOSELECT. SGA encompasses the following core trait groups: wool, growth, carcase, reproduction and internal parasite resistance. The service has successfully drawn in data from previous genetic-evaluation ser vices such as Merino Benchmark, CSIRO Select Breeding Ser vices, Merino Genetic Ser vices, Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) Central Test Sire Evaluation databases and other 4 BEYOND THE BALE BREEDING FOR PROFIT SUPPLEMENT SHEEP GENETICS AUSTRALIA Buyers look to data to help decisions By Kellie Penfold Photo by Matthew Cawood When woolgrower John Young went along last year to a 'Nerstane Merino Stud'-hosted information day on how Sheep Genetics Australia (SGA) data can help commercial flocks, he realised the genetic parameters for the sire he needed to reach the goals for his flock were different to what he had assumed. "If I had kept making decisions on what I thought was the right animal, rather than making decisions with the data available, I would have ended up on entirely the wrong track," Mr Young says. "I need a large, upstanding Merino that performs well on the 3.5 per cent dual-purpose index -- which is different from the type of sheep I would have needed if I was just 60 kilometres away in country better suited to that finer wool. It's something I could have easily pursued without considering what performs best in our type of country." Having moved from Tasmania two years ago, John, with his father Lawrence and brother Paul, runs N L Young and Sons on the 2200-hectare 'South Winscombe' at Bundarra, between Armidale and Inverell in northern NSW. They purchased the property on a walk-in/walk-out basis, which meant inheriting sheep they were "not totally happy with". In Tasmania, they ran ewes for prime lamb production, so wool production was relatively new territory. John started his education by looking at the data available through Merino Superior Sires, wether and progeny trials and, in more recent times, SGA. "Your dollars are in the progeny of the ram," he says. "You can't have the best- looking ram if the progeny are no good; the ram might not look that good, but the progeny are exactly what you need." The inherited flock, built up using farm- bred rams, was cutting an average of 3.5 kilograms of wool per head with an average micron of 17.1.The Youngs aim for 5kg/head of 18-micron wool, and run 8000 sheep, of which 3500 are joined ewes, 1100 are John Young of 'South Winscombe', NSW.
Oct 07 - Nov 07
Aug 07 - Sep 07