Proof of benefits from genetic selection


A full copy of the document 'Using ASBVs - What's in it for me?' (A review of the literature on the use of genetic technologies for selection of dams and sires in sheep breeding programs) is available for download below.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) has established a wide range of initiatives that are facilitating greater uptake of sheep genetic technologies.  This publication is one such initiative.  Its objective is to collate the results from previous research projects and producer demonstrations to build a body of evidence that will allow industry to consider the adoption of breeding values (in particular, Australian Sheep Breeding Values) and associated technologies.  This reference will be extended as more information becomes available.

The projects summarised in this review were identified by the collective knowledge of the Sheep CRC Genetics Training Initiative Steering Committee.  Industry experts located in all states of Australia (see list of acknowledgements) were consulted to identify relevant material.  In addition the Livestock Library ( and the MLA Producer Initiated Research and Demonstration (PIRD) database have been searched to identify further areas of work.

The benefits of using breeding values and other technologies are often put forward but the proof to support these statements has been scattered far and wide.  This document is a chance to collate all the material, developed over the years, that demonstrates the outcomes from using these technologies.  The review ensures that this very valuable material is not lost and that its collective impact can be appreciated.

This review is comprehensive with projects and demonstrations included regardless of their findings.  Overwhelmingly the combined outcomes from the work reviewed offer a vast and compelling story of considerable benefit from the use of breeding values and associated technologies.   

A number of projects summarised in this review highlight the genetic difference between individual sheep or bloodlines.  These projects have been included to describe the large genetic variation that exists in the sheep industries.  Tools that enable the exploitation of these genetic differences have great value when striving to maximise genetic progress and the future viability of sheep enterprises.

The scope of this review was to collate evidence rather than delve into interpretation of results.  As such, much of the content has been reproduced from cited references.  Collating the evidence has been the highest priority for this work and as a result the format for the material is largely as provided in the references cited.

This review clearly establishes that breeding values and associated technologies deliver genetic progress to the sheep industries.  They are a vital element for sheep enterprises aiming to maximise productivity and profitability.

If you know of any projects/work that could also be included in this document please email

DownloadUsing ASBVs - What's in it for me? (6.6 MB)

Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

PW4.1 New Opportunities in Genetics and Genomics

Products & Training Resources

ASBV Pocket Guide

Australian Sheep Breeding Values - A guide for ram buyers

Marketing your sheep with genetic data

Reports, Articles and Presentations

Getting Started with Sheep Genetics

Sheep CRC Genomics Breakfast Workshop - LambEx 2012

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