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Beyond the Bale : June 2013
34 34 34 on-farm during 2001-2012, “genetic” projects have accounted for 5 per cent of AWI On-farm R&D expenditure and “genomic” projects 10 per cent of AWI On-farm R&D expenditure. Below is a list of AWI-funded current projects in genetics and genomics R&D and list of possible future projects. aWI genetics and genomics R&D program June 2013 BeYoNd the BaLe fast facts l AWI continues to fund a range of genetic and genomic r&D programs. l AWI’s ‘Call for Proposals’ process provides the opportunity for any organisation to request AWI support for genetic improvement research, development and extension activities. cUrrent genetIcs r&D ProJects INCLUDE: Production Classes – assistance to promote and raise the profile of objective assessments; Australian Association Stud Merino Breeders Minnipa ASBV Demonstration Project; Minnipa Agricultural research Foundation and SArDI Update of AWI/MLA Visual Sheep Score Guide review of the On Farm Fibre Measurement QA program Staple Strength – What staple length is best to measure Staple Strength and is across fibre variation (CoV) a better prediction of Staple Strength (N/KT) than along and cross fibre variation (CoV); DAFWA Merino Bloodline Performance – co-ordination and collation of Wether Trial results; NSW DPI Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association – co-ordination and collation of Sire Evaluation Site results; AMSEA MErINOSELECT; Sheep Genetics Management Agreement with MLA Sheep CrC – data collection and analysis from Information Nucleus Flock 1 on a range of issues, resilience, fertility, genotype by environment interactions dags and worm etc reconciliation of Merino Bloodline and MErINOSELECT traits and indexes; AGBU Breeding for Breech Strike resistance; DAFWA, UWA and CSIrO ram Breeder Management Calendars – summary of management calendars of large Merino ram breeders across a range of states to assist with project cost benefit assessments; Sally Martin Consulting review of Merino Ewe Lifetime Productivity issues • Collation of past r&D resource flock and industry data to a central site at AGBU; SArDI and others • Literature review on Merino ewe lifetime productivity; rob Woolaston • Validation of the linkage across sites; AMSEA Low cost and effective (Cervical) AI using frozen semen; Sydney University cUrrent genomIcs r&D ProJects INCLUDE: Sheep CrC Information Nucleus Flock 1 – collecting genomic information and comparing it with phenotypic data collected to create genomic enhanced Australian Sheep Breeding Values Sheep CrC / MLA / AWI Pilot Project 2 – collecting genomic information from industry sires to validate predictions coming from the Sheep CrC MErINOSELECT – creation of genomic enhanced Australian Sheep Breeding Values; AGBU and MLA Breech Strike Genomics – assessing differences in the genotype of resistant and susceptible animals bred at Mt Barker (DAFWA) and Armidale (CSIrO) genetIcs r&D ProJects UnDer reVIeW for fUtUre fUnDIng INCLUDE: Merino Ewe Lifetime Productivity, better prediction of lifetime productivity; NSWDPI, CSIrO, SArDI, DAFWA, AGBU, Sheep Genetics Ongoing improvement in the Merino indexes – how to better cost changes in body weight and the impact changes have on feed cost and stocking rate More accurate assessment of net feed efficiency and how this can be used in indexes Improved calculations on the cost benefit of genetic improvement Progeny testing for breech strike resistance genomIcs r&D ProJects UnDer reVIeW for fUtUre fUnDIng INCLUDE: Improved accuracy of the horn poll DNA test reducing the costs of DNA testing Improved calculations on the cost benefit of genomic improvement Lowering the cost of future genomic reference flocks Genomic assessments for Lifetime Productivity "Pooling" DNA samples and analysis in commercial flocks to assist with OJD susceptibility, embryo loss, dags, fertility, feedback to ram breeders and feedback to genomics enhanced Australian Sheep Breeding Values More information: Refer to AWI’s draft Strategic Plan 2013/14–2015/16 which is available on the AWI website at www.wool.com