This project will:
Calibration and evaluation of carcase grading tools requires a rigorous approach that encompasses the wide range of carcase types found in Australia (14 to 30+kg carcase weight) derived from diverse genetic backgrounds. An Information Nucleus design (now called the Industry Resource Flocks at the University of New England, Armidale and Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Katanning) is the ideal structure to underpin genetic and carcase prediction.
The original Sheep CRC Information Nucleus design generated a unique resource whereby large numbers of slaughter lambs with full pedigree linked to an extensive series of phenotypes for traits related to lean meat yield and eating quality are in a centralised database. The data base currently has approximately 101,000 lamb records, which can through extrapolation be linked to bone out data and measures of meat colour, shear force tenderness, intramuscular fat and other biochemical indicators. This data base is further supported by sensory evaluation of two cuts (short loin and topside) from approximately 1,500 progeny thus allowing the team to develop associations between objective carcase parameters and the actual sensory score of the meat.
As part of this project, further sensory evaluation in combination with the objective carcase measures will be undertaken on an additional 1,000 carcases using the newly created Industry Resource Flocks (at the University of New England, Armidale and Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Katanning) which have evolved to take the place of the CRC Information Nucleus. These flocks produce 2,000 slaughter lambs per year. These large data sets (existing and to be generated) represent a world leading and globally unique resource that puts Australia at least a decade ahead of international competitors.