Significant impacts of sire selection on wool, carcase and fertility traits is set to draw commercial and stud producers to the Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) field day at the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre (TARC) on Wednesday July 11.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) sheep development officer, Kathryn Egerton-Warburton, said the event would highlight classing, visual and objective assessment results from the 2017 drop of the MLP project.
“From that single drop, 15 industry sires will have progeny on display, with five link sires which will allow future results to be reported across five national MLP sites,” Dr Egerton-Warburton.
“A total of 440 February shorn, 14-month old ewes from the 2017 drop will be on display in their sire groups, with pen cards listing raw data and flock breeding values including, weaning and yearling live weight, greasy and clean fleece weight, micron, staple length and strength, fat and eye muscle depth.”
Participating Merino studs in the Macquarie MLP project are Centre Plus, Collinsville, Darriwell, GRASS, Gullen Gamble, Hazeldean, Kerin Poll, Moojepin, Mumblebone, Roseville Park, Trigger Vale Poll, Wanganella, West Plains Poll, Wilgunya and Willandra.
The Macquarie MLP site at TARC has 1440 Merino ewes which were randomly allocated to sire groups based on ewe source, body weight, and condition score and artificially inseminated in December 2016 and 2017.
Macquarie Sire Evaluation Association chairman, Matthew Coddington, said the MLP project was delivering real outcomes for the industry.
“Commercial producers rely on studs to provide genetic direction and this project gives breeders access to important information from across the country and the Merino industry,’’ Mr Coddington said.
The field day will kick off with a pen walk led by the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association executive officer, Ben Swain.
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) genetics and animal welfare advocacy program manager, Geoff Lindon, will give an overview of the national MLP project, Dr Egerton-Warburton, will report on results from the Macquarie MLP project and Rabobank commodity analyst, Georgia Twomey, will be a guest speaker on the day.
MLP is a partnership between AWI and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association, with three NSW sites at Trangie, Temora and Armidale.