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Beyond the Bale : Jun - July 08
By Fiona conroy W oolgrowers looking for sires that can pack a genetic punch now have access to the latest information gathered from independent sire evaluation sites around Australia, with the release of the latest edition of Merino Superior Sires 13. Merino Superior Sires provides a direct comparison between sires, and allows ram breeders and commercial woolgrowers to separate differences between animals that are a result of the environment from differences caused by the genes the animal carries. Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) are included in Merino Superior Sires 13 on more than 300 individual sires entered at any one of 14 sites since 2002. Information on sires entered before 2002 is available on the Merino Superior Sires website. Each year between 10 and 20 sires are joined at individual sites with up to 60 ewes each through artificial insemination. A number of ‘link sires’ are used in common between sites, and over several consecutive years at each site, to create genetic linkage and the basis for national comparisons across different years and locations. The resulting progeny are objectively measured as either yearlings or hoggets (10 to 18 months) or as adults Sire evaluation with genetic punch For more information about protecting the health of your ewes and lambs talk to your P? zer Professional Sales Representative. Freecall: 1800 335 374 P? zer Australia Pty Ltd, 38-42 Wharf Road, West Ryde NSW 2114. ® Registered trademark of P? zer Australia. OGILVY HEALTHWORLD PAGL0010BTB Glanvac ® with B12 for ewes gives lambs the best start in life protects both one dose Improves growth of newborn lambs Maximises wool cut Improves survival of ewe and lamb Provides prolonged vitamin B 12 supplementation PAGL0010 Treat the ewe_BTB.indd 1 20/2/07 11:56:12 AM 11 GeNetiCS BeyonD the BAle (over 18 months) for a wide range of commercially important traits including fibre diameter, fleece weight, staple strength, worm egg count and eye muscle depth, as well as visual traits for wool quality and body conformation. Violet Town, Victoria, Merino breeder Philip Toland chairs the North East Victoria sire evaluation site, which has been running continuously for 12 years. “Independent sire evaluations allow people to benchmark their rams and select high-performing rams that meet their breeding objective,” Mr Toland says. “When we started the North East Victoria site there was a fair bit of variation between the top and bottom rams, but the quality of rams we get now is more even. We also measure a much wider range of traits and find some rams will be strong on some traits but not on others.” Progeny born in 2008 will also be assessed against the recently released Visual Sheep Scores, with some of the results possibly being published in the next Merino Superior Sires. This will provide an even greater level of information to ram breeders looking for more than just measured data. The program is run by the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association, funded by AWI and supported by Meat and Livestock Australia. In future, Merino Superior Sires will be published in October each year, a move designed to provide sire evaluation results in a more timely manner, to give users greater opportunity to use the information when making breeding decisions for the following year. Merino Superior Sires 14 will be released in October 2008. Merino Superior Sires 13, together with reports from individual sire evaluation sites detailing how sires perform in a particular environment, as well as more detailed results from all sires entered in sire evaluation, including those entered prior to 2002, can be found on the Merino Superior Sires website (www.merinosuperiorsires.com.au). Hard copies of Merino Superior Sires 13 are available free of charge by contacting the AWI Hotline, 1800 070 099. ú More information: Ben swain, 02 6743 2306, ben_ firstname.lastname@example.org; www.merinosuperiorsires.com.au
Jun - Jul 08 Supplement
Aug - Sep 08