Sheep Genetics is the national genetic information and evaluation service for the meat and wool sectors of the sheep industry delivered as LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT. The purpose of Sheep Genetics is to improve the quality, scope and utilisation of across-flock, and where appropriate, across breed genetic information for the Australian sheep industry.

  • Sheep Genetics provides a single national language in the form of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs)
  • ASBVs are available across flock and, where appropriate, across breeds
  • ASBVs are updated twice monthly for a range of commercially relevant traits that impact on all sectors of the sheep industry
  • ASBVs are designed to be used to compare the genetic potential of animals independent of the environment and location


Backed by quality assurance procedures and minimum accuracy standards, Sheep Genetics hosts a database of some 3 million animals, reflecting data from more than 1000 flocks around Australia. Together with the Australian sheep industry, MLA and AWI have facilitated genetic evaluation for prime lamb and wool producers.

The Sheep CRC contributes large amounts of data to LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT from the Sheep CRC’s Information Nucleus. This information includes:

  • Expanding the bloodlines represented
  • increasing the accuracy of individual ASBVs
  • Providing data for traits that are expensive or difficult to measure
  • Providing data for new traits for the development of new ASBVs

Choose from the tabs below for more detailed information.

Practical Wisdom Notes Products & Training Resources Reports, Articles and Presentations News Releases Websites

Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

Practical Wisdom Note - Using ASBVs

ASBVs stand for Australian Sheep Breeding Values. They are the national language for benchmarking sheep based on their genetic merit and are produced by Sheep Genetics. ASBVs describe a sheep’s breeding value for a trait, e.g. fleece weight or body weight, and express the relative breeding value of sheep across different breeding flocks of that breed (or across breeds in the case of Terminal breeds). They are equivalent to estimated breeding values (EBVs) used in other livestock industries e.g. BREEDPLAN in the beef cattle industry.

Products & Training Resources

ASBV Case Studies

Several case studies are available on the use and benefits of ASBVs - download the individual case studies below.

Australian Sheep Breeding Values - A guide for ram buyers

This guide is provided to help you understand the complexities of breeding profitable yet functional sheep that are right for your business.

Merino Sheep Breeding Trainer Guide

The Merino Sheep Breeding Trainer Guide has been developed by Sheep CRC and Meat & Livestock Australia to allow vocational and education trainers (primarily in the TAFE, Agricultural College and School systems) to deliver up to date knowledge and skills in the area of Merino breeding to their students. It is designed to be used in conjunction with three Power Point presentations, produced by the Sheep CRC on developing a breeding objective, selecting a stud and rams and selecting ewes.

Software - Selection Assist

Selection Assist enables producers or their advisors or classers to compare results from different breeding directions, so as to choose which is most applicable to their flock. The program predicts the likely outcome of selected breeding objectives. It also shows the impact of reproductive rates and where the progress can come from within a flock.

Visual Scores Guide

Visually assessed traits are included in the breeding objective of all stud and commercial sheep breeders, regardless of their target market or environment.

Reports, Articles and Presentations

Getting Started with Sheep Genetics

Sheep Genetics provides you with practical information on the genetic potential of your sheep. Sheep are ranked according to various production characteristics using Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) across flock or Flock Breeding Values (FBVs) within flock. See Sheep Genetics brochures available for download below. To download other publications click here.

Publications - Genetics

Download the genetics publications below.

Sheep CRC 2010 Conference Papers - Genetics

This Conference combined world class science with its practical application.

Sheep CRC 2010 Conference Papers - Sheep and their management

This Conference combined world class science with its practical application.

Sheep CRC Genomics Breakfast Workshop - LambEx 2012

During LambEx 2012 the Sheep CRC hosted a genomics breakfast workshop - download the papers from the workshop below.

SNP Chip - revolutionising genetics

This article appears courtesy of Meat & Livestock Australia (

Wool meets Meat - 2006 Conference Papers - Genetics

These proceedings are from the showcase conference of the Australian Sheep Industry CRC 'Wool meets Meat - tools for a modern sheep enterprise' conference held in Orange (NSW) during 2006.

News Releases

Training the trainers to ensure sheep flock is better by design
Sheep breeding advisors have been ‘up-skilling’ in DNA testing and breeding program design to ensure the industry can maximise the productivity gains on offer from the latest in genomic research and genetic benchmarking. The Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) in Armidale, NSW, recently organised an intensive, three-day workshop for 25 sheep industry service providers on the topic:... Click Here To Read Full Article »
Big data delivers clearer growth picture for lambs
New research based on high-quality and large-scale data from the sheep industry’s Information Nucleus program will help breeders manage expectations about lamb growth rates, particularly for twins and triplets. Click Here To Read Full Article »
Genomic testing maps out path for leading breeders
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. Click Here To Read Full Article »
CRC extension ensures bright future for sheep industry
Sheep producers can look to the future with confidence with news that the industry’s Cooperative Research Centre has secured funding for a further five years. The Commonwealth Department of Industry has today announced that the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) has been successful in its extension application, with $15.5 million to be provided to support its activities from 2014 through... Click Here To Read Full Article »
Claim the date – Sheep CRC ‘Concept to Impact’ Final Conference
Sheep producers and industry participants should pencil 9 July 2014 into their diaries, when the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) will take them on an R&D journey from ‘Concept to Impact’. Click Here To Read Full Article »
Ram teams are superior for ASBVs accuracy
Buying teams of rams that share similar Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) has helped achieve breeding objectives faster and deliver a more productive flock for WA producer, Rob Egerton-Warburton. Click Here To Read Full Article »
JIVET & DNA supercharge sheep breeding at Leahcim
Andrew Michael has taken sheep breeding beyond the cutting edge and into new territory, with a new program that is super-charging the speed of genetic gain in his flock. Known as JIVET – juvenile in vitro embryo transfer – the program has already delivered stud lambs years in advance of those from his conventionally joined flock, thanks to a combination of old-school visual appraisal and traditional measurement... Click Here To Read Full Article »
DNA tests take the guesswork out of breeding easy-care sheep
DNA testing has taken the guesswork out of breeding for fast-tracked profitability on Andrew Heinrich’s Kangaroo Island farm - and he is just in the experimental stage of using the cutting-edge technology. Click Here To Read Full Article »
Genomic revolution to hit turbo drive in Sheep CRC extension bid
Use of full genome sequencing to turbo charge the rate of genetic gain in the national sheep flock is a core objective of a new research agenda proposed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC). Click Here To Read Full Article »
Animal wellbeing research to drive future sheep productivity
Improving animal health and well-being, and positioning the sheep industry to meet changing consumer demands relating to animal welfare, will form a key plank of a new research agenda proposed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC). Click Here To Read Full Article »

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