Department senior research officer Johan Greeff presented results from genetic research in sheep breeding for wool, meat and disease resistance that had been carried out in WA during the past 30 years.
“Historically, our research has driven new and amended breeding technologies for the sheep industry, and continued research and new methodologies that arise from it are expected to further benefit industry,” Dr Greeff said.
“One of the most exciting recent developments is the use of DNA technology to determine the breeding value of animals for traits that are expensive and difficult to measure, such as carcase quality, disease resistance and reproduction.
“DNA technology makes it possible to identify genetically superior animals at a young age, resulting in an increased rate of genetic gain.”
Conference participants also learned practical techniques to help producers navigate the abundance of genetic information available to breeders.
Sheep Updates included a keynote address on ‘China’s appetite’ by James Kynge, Chairman of FT Confidential Research.
Other speakers included Professor David Lindsay, economic analyst John Young, speaking on the contribution of better breeding to the bottom line, and Luke Stephen of Sheep Genetics, who advised participants how to use traits and indexes in the paddock.
(Source: Depatment of Agriculture & Food, Western Australia)