THE 2017 drop first-cross ewe progeny of rams in the Macquarie Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project were showcased, with top indexing rams outlined during a recent field day.
Designed to capture lifetime data from a range of genetics, environments and Merino types to better understand and deliver lifetime performance outcomes for the Australian Merino industry, the MLP is a partnership between Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA).
The Macquarie MLP site is hosted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Macquarie Sire Evaluation Association, at the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre.
It has a foundation ewe base sourced from commercial clients of two bloodlines; Towalba and Centre Plus, to represent contrasting skin type and wrinkle levels.
Fifteen sires were represented in the 2017 drop, all which were carefully selected for different reasons.
Five link sires were included in the evaluation to provide connection between years and sites.
These were Centre Plus Poll 707115, Darriwell 130941, Moojepin 120652, Trigger Vale Poll 140477 and West Plains Poll 110004 (Mercenary).
Kerin Poll 151911 was the highest indexing ram for Dual Purpose Plus (131 DP+), Merino Production Plus (118 MP+) and Wool Production Plus (114 WP+) and second highest for the Fibre Production Plus Index (114 FP+).
AMSEA executive officer, Ben Swain, said the ram was selected for its weight and dual purpose ability.
“He is by the Moorundie Park Poll ram that we have seen quite a bit on in the sire evaluation over the last while,” Mr Swain said.
“He was extreme for weight ASBVs and you can see that coming up in the results now, he is a big sheep that produces plenty of carcase. More than that he is the sheep in the trial that is the all rounder. He is a current trait leader for all four indexes.”
Close behind it was the Hazeldean 13.4936 ram that was second highest for MP+ (111) and the highest indexing sire for FP+ (117).
The Hazeldean ram was included in the project as he was high fleece weight but low in fat and muscle. It’s father is also in the MLP project.
All site link sire, TV Poll 140477, was second highest for DP+ (118), with other link sire Moojepin 120652 third highest with a 115 DP+ index.
All first-cross ewe progeny of the different sires will be joined naturally to a cohort of rams from one stud, to be selected in the coming months.