Agwest service backs breeding

30 Sep, 1999 07:21 AM
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SHEEP studs and commercial operators who want to improve the quality of their flocks' wool can get professional help from Agriculture WA's Breeder Consultancy Service. The service was established after a grower survey in 1996 identified woolgrowers wanted more assistance in improving their sheep breed ability. Agriculture WA's Bronwyn Clarke told growers at the recent Yardstick field day she and geneticist Johan Greeff could help producers identify and reach their breeding objectives. Ms Clarke said having a clear breeding objective was paramount in producing good wool. "That is most useful in taking the guesswork out of breeding," she said. Once that is determined, the service can then be used to help a grower develop a breeding index and modify it over time to ensure it continues to meet the overall breeding objective. Ms Clarke said the service could provide breed values for animals, rank animals and calculate genetic trends within the flock. "It is important if you are serious about your breeding to keep track of what is going on," she said. "It's also important to keep an eye on how you are going in relationship to your breeding objective." In doing so, the Agwest analysis is able to take out the variation in results as a result of seasonal conditions. Agwest will be holding a breeding workshop later in the year and interested people are asked to let their local Agwest office know if they intend to attend.

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