Upgrades to Sheep Genetics Analysis: What Breeders Need to Know

In major news for our sheep clients, Sheep Genetics released details of their annual analysis enhancements in May. We asked our Sheep DNA Services Manager, Mel Dowling to explain what it means for breeders.

The annual analysis enhancements released by Sheep Genetics in May 2024 mark a significant stride in advancing genomic capabilities within the MERINOSELECT and LAMBPLAN analyses. Among the notable changes is the expansion of the genomic breed reference for both terminal and maternal breeds, signifying a pivotal shift by lifting breed restrictions.

This expansion encompasses a diverse array of populations, including but not limited to Ultra White, Australian Whites, Composite Shedders, and various Composite Terminals.

Benefits for Your Flock

These enhancements represent a benefit for breeders, empowering them with a broader scope of genomically enhanced breeding values. The implications are far-reaching, promising tangible benefits for flock management and genetic selection strategies. By harnessing genomic testing, breeders stand to unlock a host of advantages:

  1. Accurate Decision-Making: Testing animals at a younger age yields more precise and stable Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs), equipping breeders with enhanced decision-making capabilities. This heightened accuracy facilitates informed choices regarding breeding stock selection and mating decisions, ultimately bolstering overall flock performance.
  2. Trait Expansion: Genomic testing extends beyond conventional metrics, enabling the assessment of difficult-to-measure traits such as eating quality, reproductive characteristics and later-in-life attributes. This comprehensive evaluation empowers breeders to delve deeper into genetic potential, facilitating more holistic breeding programs geared towards multifaceted trait improvement.
  3. Selection Response Amplification: The integration of genomic data amplifies the potential for selection response, driving accelerated genetic progress within breeding programs. By leveraging genomic information to identify and prioritise superior genetic merit, breeders can expedite the pace of trait improvement and enhance the overall productivity and profitability of their flocks.

In essence, the continued evolution of genomic technologies underscores Sheep Genetics’ commitment to facilitating advancements within the sheep industry. By embracing these enhancements, breeders can navigate an increasingly complex breeding landscape with confidence, leveraging genomic insights to propel their operations towards greater efficiency, sustainability, and genetic excellence.

For more comprehensive insights into the analysis enhancements and their implications, interested parties are encouraged to visit Sheep Genetics.