MEAT and Livestock Australia's (MLA's) release of a new LAMBPLAN Maternal Index is just the start of several exciting new genetic developments in Australian Sheep Breeding Values to be released over 2010.
MLA sheep research and development manager Alex Ball said along with the redeveloped Maternal Index, within about a year there will be new ASBV's available for the sheep industry including intramuscular fat, shear force and yield ASBV's for breeding for eating quality.
"I think there will be some shifts in how people breed sheep over the next twelve months," Dr Ball said.
The LAMBPLAN Maternal Index was re-developed to satisfy industry demand for a better gauge of breeding ewe performance.
"The reason why we've developed the new LAMBPLAN Maternal Index is that we've realised that there are certain changes in the industry that requires a change in what maternal ewes need for the future," Mr Ball said.
"We specifically looked at what the key maternal profit drivers were for maternal ewes.
"In this current environment it's very clear that we have to focus on a few things; including a significant improvement in reproductive rate driven by the fact we need to put pressure not only on lambing rate, but on the number of lambs that make weaning."
Dr Ball said the MLA was also shifting emphasis away from later growth to earlier growth in line with market demand.