MerinoLink considers results 2019 drop

Merino sires evaluated at MerinoLink field day

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Understanding the best Merino sires for your environment

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A very good roll call of Merino breeders attended the two field days featuring the MerinoLink sire evaluation results update for the 2019 drop.

Convenor of the event, Sally Martin, Sally Martin Consulting Pty Ltd, Young said the two events, at Yass and at Frogmore allowed woolgrowers to view the penned ewes in their respective sire groups and take into account the data set of each sire line.

The MerinoLink sire evaluation program compares the breeding performance of a Merino sire by evaluating his progeny and their expressed traits relative to the progeny of the other sires at each particular site.

A consistent foundation of commercial ewes are joined by AI to the nominated sires, and the resulting progeny are evaluated to assess a sire's breeding performance for a large number of objective and visual traits which are important to both ram and commercial Merino breeders.

"We have 32 sires under consideration across the two sites," Ms Martin said.

"The results assist in the selection of sires suitable for a large range of breeding objectives."

Ms Martin further pointed out two sires were used in the Yass and Frogmore group allowing links to each site.

"The evaluation results from the 2019 drop will also be linked to all of the sire evaluation sites across Australia," she said.

"In that was we will access to a comprehensive genetic pool to really understand the production possibilities for Merinos in various environments.

"Today and yesterday we presented the information collected so commercial and stud breeders can look at the progeny straight out of the paddock."

Ms Martin said addition information from the Frogmore site included the results from the processing of the wether portion.

"We are looking at meat eating traits and are collaborating with Pete McGilchrist, senior lecturer - School of Environmental and Rural Science, UNE," she said.

"With the results from that project, we will be able to collate all the productivity characteristics of the Merino sheep for increased productivity.

"The data we are collecting can be reflective of the individual sires entered and breeders can make well-informed decisions when selecting semen sires for future joining's."

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