Top tips for selecting high-performing sires

10 September 2019

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 Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) online genetics hub.

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 continue the roll out of MLA’s genetic resources designed to inform producers about the role of genetics in helping to improve on-farm productivity and profitability.

MLA General Manager – Producer Consultation 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. Hard to measure traits such as fertility and eating quality require tools such as breeding values to help make progress in improving profitability,” Mr Crowley said.

“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.

“Over recent months, MLA has been communicating the benefits of improving selection of sires assisted by using breeding values through producer case studies, Pick the Performer ads and animated videos showing how to get started with using breeding values.

“MLA now has videos to share on how producers can put breeding values into practice in the lead up to bull and ram buying.”

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