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Price changes to Sheep DNA testing

Dear Sheep DNA Testing Customer

Sheep breeders now have more tools available than ever before to improve their flock genetics and management. As the Sheep CRC continues to develop and improve the suite of genomic products available to the industry, we are faced with the challenge of ensuring they are delivered to producers under a sustainable business model.

A number of new DNA testing technologies have become available in recent months, which provided the Sheep CRC and the Australian Innovation Company (AIC) the opportunity to renegotiate test supply agreements to ensure continuity of service for breeders, more timely delivery of test results and access the best possible technologies.

As an existing customer of the Australian Innovation Company, I am writing to give you advance notice of some changes to the way DNA tests will be sold as of 1 June 2017:

  • The advancements in technology for the processing of sheep genotyping tests mean that this test will come down in price from $50 to $35 per test.
  • The sheep genotyping test will form the basis of the Merino Flock Profiler test for commercial breeders. This is now on the market at $800 and includes DNA sampling of 20 ewes as well as the data analysis and reporting.

The Sheep CRC and AIC have also sought access to use a new Illumina chip for determining parentage that involves significantly more SNPs than the current test in order to provide a more precise test with fewer “non assignments” for closely related sires.  The expanded number of SNPs will also allow reporting of most known major genes for muscling, reproduction and defects.  The new Illumina chip is also more stable and therefore less re-runs will be required. This will improve turn-around times.

The AIC is working hard to obtain the best price possible for industry, however, it is likely that the superior new parentage test will come at a slightly higher cost for users of the Parentage/Poll test. We will advise of this price change as soon as possible to limit the impact to our customers.

Finally, the Sheep CRC is responding to producer feedback and will be making DNA testing easier to order online, with a new system scheduled for release in the new financial year.

Genomic tests and tools are essential for future growth and increased productivity in the sheep industry - thank you for your ongoing support of this important program.

Kind regards,

 

James Rowe

CEO, Sheep CRC Ltd.