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New videos explain popular traits when selecting sires

04 August 2020

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has launched a range of new resources to help commercial beef and sheep producers target specific traits identified in their breeding objectives when buying bulls and rams.

A suite of new videos explaining some of the most popular traits for cattle and sheep are now live on MLA’s online genetics hub – genetics.mla.com.au.

The videos add to the genetics hub’s one-stop-shop of tools and resources, aimed at demystifying genetics and breeding values.

MLA General Manager, Research, Development and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said as producers are often only making buying decisions once a year, the new materials act as a refresher and detail the traits that can be used to target their breeding objectives and select sires to achieve those objectives.

"Producers have told us that they want more information about the various traits available when making decisions about sires, and MLA has responded by developing a suite of information-rich videos to support decision making to drive on-farm production and consumer outcomes,” Mr Crowley said.

Sheep weight traits video

For sheep producers, the videos cover traits including animal health and welfare, reproduction, carcase, growth and wool.

“For beef producers, traits covered include fertility and calving ease, carcase traits and growth rates.

“MLA launched the genetics hub in 2019 as part of a broader approach to informing producers about the role of genetics in achieving business productivity targets and meeting consumer expectations.

Beef fertility traits video

“Research shows that more than 80% of commercial cattle and sheep producers have taken action – such as using breeding values to buy a sire – as a result of the launch of these resources.

“There’s a clear link between genetics and the commercial profitability of the Australian livestock industry. Genetic improvement is among the tools available to commercial producers to help address the key drivers of industry profit including improved market compliance and eating quality, and improved fertility and livestock productivity.”