MLA renews and bolsters commitment to Sheep Genetics

15 September 2016

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has bolstered its commitment to improve productivity across the sheep industry through genetics with the endorsement of a new Sheep Genetics Business Plan.

Sheep Genetics is a highly successful service provider to the sheep industry delivering world-class genetic evaluation services designed to grow profitability for producers and the broader industry. Since 2005, the program has been co-funded by MLA and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).

Under the new Business Plan, Sheep Genetics will now be solely managed by MLA – with AWI to contribute to R&D projects on an individual project basis.

Sheep Genetics will continue to deliver LAMBPLAN, the genetics evaluation service for the prime lamb industry, and, MERINOSELECT, servicing the wool industry. It also delivers the genetic evaluation for the Dohne Merino breed and KIDPLAN, a goat industry service.

MLA General Manager, Producer Consultation & Adoption, Mick Crowley said the new Business Plan will enable Sheep Genetics to remain at the forefront of livestock genetics and expand its capabilities over the next five years.

“Genetic improvement in livestock is critical to future growth and productivity gains across the industry,” Mr Crowley said.

“The genetic evaluation services provided by Sheep Genetics underpin breeding decisions that drive genetic gain in seedstock flocks which then flows through to commercial flocks.

“Genetics is a key profit driver for livestock industries and for individual producers. Unlike many other farm inputs, genetic superiority is permanent and cumulative.

“Under the new plan, Sheep Genetics will continue to provide accurate, credible information on the breeding value of sheep as well as tools to make optimum use of this information at individual animal, flock and industry levels.”

Mr Crowley said Sheep Genetics will play a key role in the data revolution occurring across the sheep and broader livestock industry.

“Technology to identify animals, measure traits of interest and facilitate exchange of data is advancing rapidly in our industry.

“There are opportunities for Sheep Genetics to collaborate with other organisations and private companies and to develop new product streams – something which is facilitated by the new Business Plan.”

The Sheep Genetics Business Plan links directly to the MLA Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 (MISP), with genetics and genomics investment considered a high priority.

Sheep Genetics will also be part of MLA’s contribution to the National Livestock Genetics Consortium – with the RD&A investments aligning to the priorities being established by the consortium.

Click here to view the Sheep Genetics Business Plan at a glance.

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