Sheep DNA test­ing

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - FRONT PAGE -

THE tra­di­tional ewe com­pe­ti­tion is set to en­ter the in­no­va­tion era with the in­clu­sion of DNA Flock Pro­file tests as part of next year’s Doug Bicket Me­mo­rial Ewe trial in Parkes.

The Co­op­er­a­tive Re­search Cen­tre for Sheep In­dus­try In­no­va­tion (Sheep CRC) will pro­vide DNA pro­fil­ing for all flocks en­ter­ing the 2018 com­pe­ti­tion, cur­rently val­ued at $800 plus GST per flock, as a means of sup­port­ing im­proved ge­netic se­lec­tion de­ci­sions by com­peti­tors.

The Parkes Maiden Ewe Com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Garry O’Brien and spon­sor Graeme Os­tini, of Os­tini Wool, said the ini­tia­tive was a great way of in­tro­duc­ing sheep breed­ers to new tech­nolo­gies which could drive the busi­nesses for­ward.

“There’s tech­nol­ogy out there we need to learn about and put into prac­tice if we’re to im­prove our flocks and take this in­dus­try for­ward,” Mr Os­tini said.

“Events like ours are a great op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge pro­duc­ers to con­sider new ideas and try new things as part of a com­pet­i­tive sheep as­sess­ment.

“After we shear our wool and it goes out into the world, fig­ures mea­sur­ing qual­ity are para­mount in driv­ing sales – we need to be us­ing fig­ures to our ad­van­tage at farm level as well as in or­der to im­prove our pro­duc­tiv­ity.”

IN THE BLOOD: Sheep CRC’s In­dus­try En­gage­ment and Train­ing Co­or­di­na­tor Lu Ho­gan with a DNA test­ing de­vice.

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