Jessica Crettenden, SARDI, Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Peer Review: Geoff Lindon, AWI and Naomi Scholz, SARDI, Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Breeding Values can increase productivity and profitability of a livestock business through long term improvement to genetics of the flock by benchmarking performance, continually setting higher targets and monitoring actual progress. The technology can also be used in conjunction with other sheep husbandry activities to increase labour efficiency. To be effective, the use of technology needs to be closely aligned with visual selection and the setting of stretch productivity targets in each individual flock, in order to see significant improvement. The project also showed how MERINOSELECT can provide ram buyers with a system to benchmark their flock whilst assisting with ram purchasing decisions. Although the project aimed mainly to demonstrate MERINOSELECT as a genetic benchmarking system and what is involved in its implementation rather than simply validating the use of Breeding Values, the positive genetic changes in the Minnipa flock were an encouraging outcome.