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Beyond the Bale : Aug 07 - Sep 07 Supplement
The Beyond the Bale supplement is published by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), a company funded by Australian sheep and wool producers and the Australian Government. Executive Editor: Richard Smith, Senior Project Manager, Publications, AWI AWI, Level 5, 16-20 Barrack St, Sydney NSW 2000 AWI, GPO Box 4177, Sydney NSW 2001 P (02) 9299 5155 F (02) 9299 9880 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.woolinnovation.com.au AWI info line 1800 070 099 Subscription: Beyond the Bale and supplement are available free. To subscribe, contact Richard Smith at AWI on 02 9299 5155, email richardsmith@ woolinnovation.com. Beyond the Bale is online at www.wool.com.au Copyright: Material in the Beyond the Bale supplement is copyright. Reproduction of the material is encouraged. However due acknowledgement is required. Disclaimer: Information in the Beyond the Bale supplement is not intended as professional advice. AWI will not accept responsibility for any liability arising from reliance on the contents. The Beyond the Bale supplement is written and produced for AWI by Coretext Pty Ltd Editorial director: Brad Collis Editor: Kellie Penfold Creative director: Tim Claeys Coretext, PO Box 12542, Melbourne Vic 8006 P (03) 9670 1168 F (03) 9670 1127 E email@example.com W www.coretext.com.au ISSN: 1447-9680 Cover photo: Sheep Genetics Australia SELECTION METHOD FINDINGS P3 BENCHMARKING GAINS MOMENTUM P4 DATA HELPS BUYER DECISIONS P5 COMMON LANGUAGE, SUPERIOR SIRES P6 BANKING ON MERINO BLOODLINES P7 BARE-BREECH BREEDING P8 BREEDING TOOLS OVERVIEW P10 BREEDING FOR PARASITE RESISTANCE P12 FIBRE MEASUREMENT P13 NEW GENETIC TERRITORY P14 SHEEP CRC P15 Photo by Sheep Genetics Australia To measure the progress of sheep breeding in this country, Australian woolgrowers should consider the animals of industry pioneer John Macarthur. In 1826, Captain Macarthur's prized Merino flock was described thus: "...The ewes I saw would not weigh more than 30 to 34lbs [13.6 to 15.4 kilograms] each. Their wool was exceedingly fine but certainly not dense." Since then, the Merino industry has constantly changed and progressed in order to meet the demands of current and future markets, says Dr Troy Fischer, AWI's sheep productivity program manager. "New technologies and practices are being used by ram breeders to respond to market signals, and in the process they are making considerable improvements in the productivity and profitability of their clients' flocks," Dr Fischer says. "In our industry, genetic improvement is particularly important, as it is permanent and gains are accumulated with each generation." Dr Fischer describes the tools now available to stud and commercial breeders -- and those in the pipeline -- as exciting and suggests they will have the ability to increase the rate of genetic gain to a level never seen before. Irrespective of the sheep breeding system used, genetic evaluation tools provide a means to help woolgrowers select the sheep most suited to their long-term breeding objective and respond to environmental challenges and profitability goals. "At AWI we do not advocate one breeding strategy alone, but suggest there are a suite of tools available that woolgrowers can utilise to their advantage," Dr Fischer says. "Research such as that conducted with the Selection Demonstration Flock in South Australia over 10 years demonstrates that significant gains can be made using different selection methods: whether it be classer-assessed or performance index, all methods moved the flock closer towards their goals. Some methods move you there faster than others, but it is up to woolgrowers to decide which system they will implement." AWI supports three forms of genetic benchmarking -- Sheep Genetics Australia (SGA), Merino Superior Sires and the Merino Bloodline Package -- which assess performance at the progeny, sire and bloodline level respectively. "Genetic benchmarking information is one of the most powerful tools available to Australian woolgrowers," Dr Fischer says. "It allows us not only to identify the best sires and bloodlines, but systems like SGA also allow an across-flock evaluation of Merino performance to identify the most productive animals nationwide." In addition, AWI is expanding the range of genetic tools available to woolgrowers. Each is in development and will be available soon. They include: ú additional traits in SGA, which will add to the already substantial resource of information; ú a genetics best-management-practice module, which will give woolgrowers a one-stop shop for better understanding of the available genetic knowledge and its application; and ú DNA-based tests for parentage and performance traits, as well as ways of integrating this information into breeding systems through AWI and MLA-funded research in SheepGenomics and the Sheep Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Industry Innovation. ú A LONG HISTORY OF GENETIC PROGRESS IN THIS ISSUE INTRODUCTION 2 BEYOND THE BALE BREEDING FOR PROFIT SUPPLEMENT P4 P8
Oct 07 - Nov 07
Aug 07 - Sep 07