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Can you pick a high-performing sire?

23 September 2021

With the spring selling season underway, commercial beef and sheepmeat producers looking to buy high-performing sires to improve productivity in their herd or flock can access timely tips and tools through MLA’s online genetics hub.

Online tools for choosing bulls and rams

A suite of animated tutorials, ‘How do I shop for a high-performing bull?’ and ‘How do I shop for a high-performing ram?’, have been developed to help producers put breeding values into practice.

A webinar recording is also available, demonstrating how producers can find bulls that meet their breeding objective on the BREEDPLAN databases.

The videos have been produced for temperate cattle, tropical cattle, Merino and prime lamb producers, and add to MLA’s suite of genetic resources designed to inform producers about the role of genetics in helping to improve on-farm productivity and profitability.

What to look for in potential sires

MLA General Manager – Research, Development and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said visual and structural assessments of potential sires remain vitally important, and using genetic selection tools including Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) is just as critical.

“Shopping for a high-performing sire involves factoring in what you can and can’t see,” Mr Crowley said.

“Hard to measure traits such as fertility and eating quality require tools such as breeding values to help make progress in improving profitability.”

“This means creating a shortlist of high performing sires that meet your targeted breeding outcomes using objective selection, then on sale day, choosing sires from that shortlist that meet your physical assessments and budget,” Michael said.

How do I shop for a high-performing bull?

Tropical cattle

Temperate cattle

How do I shop for a high-performing ram?

Prime lamb