Guide to the top Meri­nos

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

A NEW re­port has re­vealed the prof­itabil­ity and per­for­mance of 73 merino blood­lines.

NSW De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries (DPI) de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Kathryn Eger­ton-War­bur­ton, said Merino Blood­line Per­for­mance 2007-2018

de­liv­ers ge­netic data pro­duc­ers can use to in­form their choice of rams.

“Anal­y­sis of nine in­di­vid­ual traits and four fi­nan­cial in­di­ca­tors from 24 wether tri­als in NSW and one in Tas­ma­nia com­pared per­for­mance across blood­lines to show sig­nif­i­cant vari­a­tion be­tween the lines,” Dr Eger­ton-War­bur­ton said.

“There was a strong re­la­tion­ship be­tween fleece weight and fi­bre di­am­e­ter across blood­lines, with a sig­nif­i­cant ge­netic vari­a­tion across the fi­bre di­am­e­ter range.

“This ge­netic vari­a­tion of­fers two key op­tions to fit breed­ing ob­jec­tives – pro­duc­ers can choose a finer blood­line to re­duce fi­bre di­am­e­ter with­out com­pro­mis­ing clean fleece weight or choose a blood­line with a heav­ier fleece weight and main­tain their cur­rent fi­bre di­am­e­ter.”

Merino blood­lines var­ied across a range of 3.6 mi­crons in fi­bre di­am­e­ter, 28 per cent in clean fleece weight and 13 per cent in live weight.

❝ There was a re­la­tion­ship be­tween fleece weight and fi­bre di­am­e­ter across blood­lines...

— Dr Eger­ton-War­bur­ton

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