A new web-based app launched today, www.RamSelect.com.au, is set to change the way sheep producers select the genetics they need to bolster production and profit.
In a major step forward for the sheep industry, RamSelect.com.au will allow commercial sheep producers to purchase rams using Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) without the need for a detailed understanding of the data.
Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe said it would also be an important marketing tool for breeders assisting clients to select ram teams. “For buyers RamSelect.com.au takes the hard work out of using ASBVs to identify the right genetics that align with an individual flock’s breeding objectives,” Prof. Rowe said.
“We have known for a long time that ASBVs level the playing field and allow comparison of animals based on genetic merit, without the effect of environment. RamSelect dramatically simplifies the process of using the data to rank and purchase rams using ASBVs from the MERINOSELECT, LAMBPLAN and DOHNE databases.”
RamSelect.com.au has been developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) in conjunction with Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications provider, and Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, one of the leading software development companies in the world. It is accessible on computer, tablet and phone. The NSW Department of Primary Industries has also had extensive involvement through the development of the app, providing expertise from the initial concept to the final product.
“More and more commercial breeders are demanding objective ASBV data when shopping for rams,” South Australian Merino breeder Jamie Heinrich said.
“RamSelect.com.au ensures ram buyers can quickly check the status of our offering and rank rams against their breeding objective prior to sale day. On sale day the buyer only needs to check the visual traits before making their purchase decisions.”
Ram buyers using RamSelect.com.au just have to follow a few simple prompts and slider bars to define:
“The technology which underpins the system is incredibly smart and allows users of ASBVs to go beyond the fixed indexes they have been using up until now,” Prof. Rowe said.
“The app undertakes complex calculations in real time as users alter the settings for their specific breeding objectives. The user is then provided with a list of rams ranked for their merit against these criteria, which can be saved on a tablet or smart phone, or printed for sale day.
“After the sale day, the user is reminded to return to RamSelect.com.au to save the list of rams purchased. In future years this information will be used to benchmark the flock and inform future ram purchases.”
The success of RamSelect.com.au relies on breeders keeping data and sale information up to date on the Sheep Genetics site.
In order for potential buyers to be able to find those rams suited to their breeding objectives, breeders must identify all
rams that are for sale on the Sheep Genetics database and should specify whether rams are for sale by auction or private treaty. This information will be used to create an electronic sale catalogue that can be searched using RamSelect.com.au.
Prof. Rowe urged all studs registered with LAMBPLAN, MERINOSELECT and DOHNE to update their sale catalogues on the databases.
“If you don’t specify which rams are for sale using the Sheep Genetics web site, you and your clients will not be able to use RamSelect.com.au to select the most suitable rams to purchase,” he said.
The web-based app builds upon the popular RamSelect training workshops which have educated thousands of sheep producers in how to profitably use genetic technologies to bolster their production.
This has contributed to an increase in commercial producers demanding ASBVs from studs and the doubling in ram numbers registered with MERINOSELECT over the last three years.
Media contact: Michael Thomson on 07 4927 0805 / 0408 819 666