The benefit of ASBVs
“One thing I learned after coming back onto the family farm four years ago, is that information is power. The advent of ASBVs means we are much better informed to make decisions about the future of our sheep breeding programs.”
About Dion Woolford
Dion Woolford works alongside his parents Bert and Barb Woolford, and wife Chelsea running Karawatha Park Merinos.
The family farming business consists of two properties ‘Karawatha’ and ‘The Soaks’ located near Kimba, at the top of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
The sheep breeding program consists of about 2000 breeding ewes, which enables the Woolfords to sell about 200 rams each year. The cropping program is about 3500ha, with the main crops being wheat and barley, and medic pastures as the break crop.
The Woolfords have been providing Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) on their sale rams for almost three years, and prior to that they used ASBVs when purchasing outside rams for use in improving their own flock.
Last year Dion and his parents hosted a Sheep CRC RamSelect workshop after receiving increasing inquiry from their commercial clients for ASBV figures on their rams.
“With so much interest about ASBVs coming from our clients, we thought hosting the RamSelect workshop was the perfect way to show producers that ASBVs are not about reinventing the wheel, but a tool to help in their selection decisions,” he said.
Take home messages
Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) describe a sheep’s breeding value for a certain trait - e.g. fleece weight, body weight, or fibre diameter
Prior to using ASBVs, it’s important to define the breeding objective to determine where genetic change should be directed
By using ASBVs, as well as visual appraisal, it gives breeders confidence that the ram will deliver the progeny that meet the breeding objectives
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To visit Karawatha Park Merino & Poll Merino Stud website CLICK HERE.