The aim of the Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) trials was to deliver “proof of concept” for lean meat yield (LMY) and eating quality ASBVs. There were three trials in Tasmania, part of 20 nationally. The Tasmanian trials used 2 maternal ewe base flocks and one Cormo ewe base flock. Ewes were artificially inseminated with semen from Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams selected to have divergent Research Breeding Values (RBVs) for key traits for lean meat yield and eating quality. Artificial insemination was conducted in April 2013 with a success rate of 80% at two properties and 71% at one property. Ewes were managed to Lifetime Ewe targets and achieved an excellent number of lambs at weaning - all flocks greater than 200 – 289 (96% joining to weaning) at Chudleigh, 205 (68%) at Bothwell and 347 (115%) at Blackwood Creek. Blood samples were collected from the lambs at marking to identify the sires, and lambs were double tagged with EID and visual tags. The mobs of trial lambs were all weighed at least 3 times between weaning and slaughter. Two mobs were slaughtered in early February 2014 and one mob was slaughtered in mid-May 2014, at two different processing plants in Tasmania. The numbers of lambs with known sires slaughtered at each site were 199,133 and 196, respectively.
Data collected from these PDS’s was aggregated with data from other sites and analysed under the national coordination project, B.SCC.0144, to determine the value of RBVs for LMY and eating quality traits to ram breeders, lamb producers and processors.