Sheep DNA testing
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.