Genomic testing has dramatically changed ram selection on Dale Price’s Glencoe farm, identifying superior stock for improving his flock, as well as exposing traits in rams that he would otherwise have selected that would have set back the rate of genetic gain.
Mr Price runs Majardah Poll Dorsets, part of the Meat Elite Group of studs which participated in the commercial-style DNA trials conducted as part of the Genomics Pilot Project by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC).
This year the group DNA tested 188 rams out of a total of 2500 put up for possible selection and ended up with a team of 14 young rams that were star performers in specific traits, while at the same time maintaining genetic diversity.
The DNA tests provided data on a broad range of traits, however Mr Price said the group was particularly focussed on improving meat eating quality.
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