ParaBoss is designed as an integrated national program providing best practice advice for managing sheep parasites in different environments in Australia. It is the umbrella for the three flagship programs: WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss. To visit ParaBoss click here.
WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss will continue to operate as stand alone programs and can be accessed directly. ParaBoss as such will be an entry point providing links to the three main sites. It will also be the administrative centre for coordination both within and between the parasite management programs and is managed by the University of New England.
A team of specialists keep the web sites up-to-date and there will be an executive officer to coordinate workshops, data gathering and publicity. A Steering Committee, responsible for policy and research matter, will represent major stakeholders and funders.
Given the fact that parasites have a major impact on both wool and meat production, both MLA and AWI are closely involved in the establishment of ParaBoss. In addition, Departments of Primary Industry, universities and research organisations are major stakeholders.
Major benefits of the ParaBoss program include:
Recording full pedigree (sire and dam) will improve the rate of genetic gain in a ram breeding flock. Commercial producers are also interested in knowing dam pedigree as a way of monitoring individual reproductive performance in ewe flocks. Pedigree MatchMaker can be used in conjunction with sire joining records to determine pedigree and is less costly than DNA parentage tests or visually mothering-up lambs. In Sheep CRC trials, between 85–95% of lambs were matched to their dam with up to 96% accuracy using the Pedigree MatchMaker.
The Harvey family operate Gilgai Farms at Geurie in Central West NSW. They run a fine/superfine Merino flock and a Simmental beef herd on 2,800 hectares, which is grazed using Holistic Management principles.
The Harveys had been visually selecting, micron testing and fleece weighing their hoggets for some 15 years and were looking for the next productivity leap for their Merino flock. They decided to trial individual electronic identification technology so they could better identify highly productive animals for retention in the flock. Individual animal performance measures were collected prior to and at the 2015 ewe hogget shearing. For each ewe hogget the information collected was used to generate a Rampower Index Value and Ranking. This information was used to select replacement ewes for the flock and culls for sale.