MEASUREMENT COUNTS: Sally Martin of Young and Craig Wilson of Wagga take samples from wethers. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

Top genetic and management profit drivers to be outlined at field day

An enthusiasm for industry knowledge underpins interest in genetic selection in the sheep and wool industry.

A RARE alignment of excellent prices for wool, surplus sheep and prime lambs bodes well for the rural industry.

And market highs also help to trigger an interest in top-performing genetics says MerinoLink chief executive officer Sally Martin. 

Next week producers will see first hand some data from a large scale MerinoLink trial during a Temora field day. 

“The ewes (in the trial) are looking really good and it is a good opportunity to explore the trial which features progeny from 13 different sires,” Mrs Martin said.

Genetics from Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and NSW are included in the evaluation.

Mrs Martin said the current buoyancy of the market at the moment and the positive long-term outlook meant that people were keen to learn about genetics and ways to capitalise on productivity. “Yes the season is dry but the stock are maintaining their condition well,” she said. 

The field day will present the latest visual and objective assessment of the 2016-drop progeny in the Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project. There will also be a DNA sampling demonstration, flock profiling information session, trade displays of sheep handling equipment and a wool marketing update by Marty Moses of Moses and Son.

In the evaluation process 1250 Merino ewes were artificially inseminated in January last year and lambed down in small mobs. The ewes were randomly allocated to sire groups based on body weight, condition score and the Merino Production Plus Index. Lambs were weaned in August 2016 onto grazing crops at an average live-weight of 31.3kg.

They were visually assessed at 10-months of age, with ewe progeny to remain at the Temora trial site for adult measurements of wool, carcase and reproduction traits. The yearling visual assessments were completed by Mick Corkhill, Grassy Creek Merino Stud, Boorowa, and Ben Patrick, Yarrawonga Merino Stud, Harden. The classing was done by Craig Wilson of Craig Wilson and Associates, Wagga.

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