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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
R&D into low cost, non-surgical cervical AI Anew project headed by Dr Simon de Graaf of the University of Sydney seeks to improve the function of frozen ram semen so that it can be effectively used in low cost, non-surgical, cervical artificial insemination (AI) programs. Cervical AI is a cheaper, less invasive and simpler alternative to the current industry practice of veterinary administered laparoscopic AI, but the existing AI practice is a necessity due to the inability of frozen-thawed sperm to move through the ewe’s cervix and fertilise available eggs in the upper tract. Currently when frozen semen is used in cervical AI programs it results in a conception rate of 20 per cent as opposed to 70 per cent for cervical AI with either fresh semen, or laparoscopic AI with frozen semen. This project aims to solve this problem by investigating the changes which occur to ram sperm during freezing and thawing, how such changes reduce the progress of sperm through the female reproductive tract and novel methods to overcome these issues and promote sperm transport through the cervix. The anticipated return to levy payers from this research will come through much improved conception rates with lower cost cervical AI and increased use of high merit rams by both stud and some commercial breeders. Results from this project may also provide for more consistent results from laparoscopic AI. More information: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr Simon de Graaf of the University of Sydney has begun conducting R&D into low cost, non-surgical cervical artificial insemination using frozen semen. ON-FARM 43 FREE publications for woolgrowers VISUAL CLASSING MERINO SHEEP The objective of sheep classing is to identify and retain those sheep in a flock that will improve flock returns both now and in the future through more productive progeny. This new 16-page AWI publication provides a list of classing traits, with the preferred characteristic and economic importance of those traits. It also includes issues to consider prior to visually classing sheep, and an overview of combining visual and objective assessments. BREECH STRIKE GENETICS AWI is funding trials conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) at Mt Barker, WA and CSIRO at Armidale, NSW into the indicator traits for breech flystrike resistance in winter rainfall environments and summer rainfall environments respectively. Each of the trials produces a regular Breech Strike Genetics newsletter (approximately 8-10 pages) that reports on the activities and outcomes of the Mt Barker and Armidale selection lines. More information: These publications are available to download from the AWI website at www.wool.com/pubications or on request as free hard copy versions from the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099. Let us clean up your shearing shed Use VACTRAX Under your shearing shed need cleaning? Don't allocate days to do it Call for more information Robert Duff: 0427 539 686 Darryl Chadwick: 0488 244 183 Tracy Boxsell: 0428 791 497 Office: (02) 6379 6431 Email: email@example.com Web: www.cgbservices.com.au Vactrax can fill in a small tipper of dry material/liquid or both in under 20 minutes March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE