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Merino genetics speaking the same language

Mar '07
For the first time, Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) are being used in the latest edition of Merino Superior Sires (MSS); an important step in the use of a common genetic language for the entire Merino industry.

MSS produced by the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association gives ram breeders and commercial woolgrowers the ability to directly compare hundreds of Australia's top sires that have been evaluated at independent sire evaluation sites.

Funded by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and supported by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), MSS provides results for an extensive range of traits.

AWI General Manager Wool Production, Ian Rogan said it is very pleasing ASBVs are being adopted across the Merino industry.

“MSS allows breeders to separate differences between sheep that are a result of their environment, and those that are a result of the genes they carry,” said Mr Rogan.

“With ASBVs being used in Sheep Genetics Australia, this means the two major sources of genetic information for woolgrowers, are speaking the same language.

“As the information becomes standardised, we hope increasing numbers of ram breeders and commercial woolgrowers will be encouraged to access these resources.”

Anne Ramsay, AWI Project Manager Sheep Breeding Genetics said, MSS previously used Merino Superior Sires Breeding Values to compare sires.

“The results in this edition of MSS are, in some cases, more accurate than previous editions due to the increased amount of information known about some sires,” said Ms Ramsay.

“In order to make MSS more applicable, only sires which have entered sire evaluation since 2000 will be listed in the document. The performance of older sires is still available on the MSS website.

“MSS is available free of charge, so I would encourage any Merino breeder to access this extensive information resource.”

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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