The impact of ram selection on wool, carcase and fertility traits will be scrutinised at the Merino Lifetime Productivity Project field day next month.
MerinoLink will host the field day on March 15 at “The Vale”, Temora, showcasing the latest visual and objective assessment data for the project’s 2016 and 2017-drop ewe progeny, and an add on project incorporating the 2018-drop F2 progeny.
Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project is a partnership between Australian Wool Innovation and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association.
The 22-month-old 2017-drop ewes will be displayed in their sire groups, with pen cards carrying raw data and adjusted sire means on yearling and hogget live-weight, greasy and clean fleece weight, micron, staple length and strength, fat and eye muscle depth.
The 2016-drop ewes will be drafted into three 2018 lambing production groups, moving away from focusing on the sire group towards ewe productivity.
The 24 participating Merino studs in the MerinoLink MLP site are:
- Bella Lana, Boyanga, Bundilla Poll, CentrePlus, Collinsville Poll, DT Kenilworth, Glen Donald, Greendale, Lachlan Poll, Leachim Poll, One Oak No 2, Pastora Poll, Poll Boonoke, Pooginook Poll, Roseville Park, Tallawong, Toland Poll, Trefusis, Trigger Vale Poll, Walaloo Park Poll, Wattle Dale, West Plains Poll and Wurrook.
A total of 1170 Merino ewes were artificially inseminated in January 2016 and 2017, with the ewes randomly allocated to sire groups based on body weight, condition score and the Merino Production Plus Index.
The 2016 and 2017 drop F1 ewe progeny were visually and objectively assessed at 10 and 22 months of age as part of the sire evaluation component.
The progeny will remain at the Temora trial site for annual classing, visual scoring and adult measurements of wool, carcase and reproduction traits for the next five years.
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) animal welfare advocacy program manager Geoff Lindon, genetics and AWI, will give an overview of the national Merino Lifetime Productivity project.
The project’s sire selection process and its impacts on Merino lifetime profitability will be outlined by MLP project manager Anne Ramsay.
Site manager Sally Martin will present the results to date and MerinoLink chairman Richard Keniry will update attendees on the organisation’s activities.
The field day will be held at “The Vale”, Temora (20km from Temora on the Goldfields Way or 10km from Barmedman towards Temora on the Goldfields Way), from 11am to 3pm, with a lunch available.