Selecting the right ram
Central West producers have a final opportunity to up-date their ram selection skills with the latest genetic information from RamSelect at Tullamore on Friday October 12, when the Centre Plus Merino stud hosts the free workshop.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) developed RamSelect to give producers practical skills in selecting the right ram to meet their breeding objective and maximise returns from their flocks.
DPI sheep breeding specialist, Allan Casey and DPI livestock officer, Megan Rogers, will deliver the hands-on workshop to suit all enterprises, including terminal maternal and sire breeds.
Mr Casey said producers needed to ensure they get value from the rams selected for their wool, meat and dual-purpose enterprises.
"Producers need to get it right - ram buyers have a very challenging job as their decisions influence the genetic gain and profitability of the flock," Mr Casey said.
"The one-day RamSelect workshop aims to make those decisions a lot easier and help ensure producers are selecting the best rams for their flock breeding objective.
"It gives producers the know-how to set a price for the standard of ram they want at a sale.
"We are not suggesting producers select a particular type of ram - an important part of the workshop helps producers define their flock objective and provides the skills they need to select rams which meet that objective."
Mr Casey said producers needed to be confident in using measured performance information and combine that with their visual assessment of the rams.
"New formats for performance information, Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) which capture the best estimate of how a ram’s progeny will perform for a particular trait and updated indexes are being made available by ram breeders," he said.
"RamSelect gives producers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to use performance indexes in their selection process."
Practical activities dominate the workshops to help producers develop the skills needed to select rams which deliver the flock improvement they are targeting.
To attend the workshop producers should register with DPI Advanced Breeding Services project officer, Jac Staines,
6391 3901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More information is available from www.sheepconnectnsw.com.au