Ge­net­ics on agenda

Shepparton News - Country News - - LIVESTOCK NEWS -

The lat­est in ma­ter­nal ge­netic tri­als and ge­nomic test­ing will be out­lined to stud and com­mer­cial pro­duc­ers at the an­nual Aus­tralian White Suf­folk As­so­ci­a­tion Con­fer­ence next month.

The con­fer­ence, to be held on Fe­bru­ary 11 to 14 at RACV Gold­fields Re­sort, Creswick, Vic­to­ria, will draw more than 60 del­e­gates from al­most ev­ery state and ter­ri­tory.

The event will be open to com­mer­cial pro­duc­ers, in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and the pub­lic who have reg­is­tered to at­tend.

Sheep CRC re­searcher Dave Pethick will open the morn­ing ses­sion on Fe­bru­ary 12 with the lat­est news on ge­nomic ad­vance­ments, fol­lowed by Ja­son Trompf of Agri-Source speak­ing on the White Suf­folk’s per­for­mance in ma­ter­nal tri­als.

Sheep Pro­duc­ers Australia chair­man and White Suf­folk breeder Al­lan Pig­gott will cover trends in over­seas sheep and lamb mar­kets, plus in­dus­try is­sues, while del­e­gates will en­joy a din­ner that evening fea­tur­ing guest speaker Nathan Scott.

Guest speak­ers on the sec­ond day in­clude Liv Ryan of McCain Bal­larat, giv­ing a run down on the lo­cal po­tato in­dus­try; Mike Stephens of Merid­ian Agri­cul­ture, on suc­ces­sion plan­ning; and Struan Pearce of Stud­stock­ will give so­cial media and on­line mar­ket­ing ad­vice.

Pro­duc­ers will re­ceive an up­date on LAMBPLAN and hear the lat­est trends on the skin mar­ket for White Suf­folks from PKF Sheep­skin Val­u­a­tions prin­ci­pal Paul Fitz­sum­mons from Ade­laide.

Boast­ing more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the sheep­skin in­dus­try, Mr Fitzum­mons started his own busi­ness in 2012 and spe­cialises in sourc­ing sheep and lamb­skins (green and drum salted) for do­mes­tic and over­seas clients.

The con­fer­ence will con­clude on Tues­day evening with a din­ner fea­tur­ing White Suf­folk lamb cui­sine and the AWSA Young Guns quiz night.

AWSA pres­i­dent Peter But­ton said pro­duc­ers were en­cour­aged to join the as­so­ci­a­tion’s com­mer­cial reg­is­ter in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a White Suf­folk lamb brand be­ing rolled out na­tion­ally.

Mr But­ton said the con­fer­ence would in­clude in­for­ma­tion on the ma­ter­nal per­for­mance of the breed, with many pro­duc­ers elect­ing to re­tain their first-cross ewes as a self-re­plac­ing flock.

In 2017, White Suf­folks re­ceived higher re­turns and bet­ter clear­ance rates than in pre­vi­ous years, with many sales av­er­ag­ing from $1000 to $1500 for flock rams.

New records were set for a stud ewe at $5000 and an on-prop­erty sale record in NSW for a stud ram at $21 000.

This fol­lowed a na­tional record price of $68 000 for a White Suf­folk stud ram in 2016. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to: www.white­suf­

Close eye on ewes . . . Ja­son Trompf is con­duct­ing tri­als on ma­ter­nal ge­net­ics and will out­line the re­sults to date at the 2018 White Suf­folks con­fer­ence in Creswick next month.

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