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Sheep genetics database interface upgrade

Project start date: 30 March 2019
Project end date: 15 February 2020
Publication date: 21 October 2019
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb
Relevant regions: National

Summary

The National Livestock Genetics Consortium has a goal of doubling the rate of genetic gain in the Australian livestock industry by 2022. Achieving this requires an increase in producer adoption of genetic tools.

MLA launched this project to improve the rate of genetic gain of the Australian sheep industry by simplifying the tools, language and descriptions offered through the 'Sheep Genetics' database web tool.

The new web tool will provide users with simplified, intuitive access to information and improved flexibility to customise the tool to match goals specific to individual operations.

Objectives

The goal of the developmental project was to consult with producers and end-users to review and better understand how the existing Sheep Genetics web tool can be simplified to increase user adoption in Australia's sheep industry.

The results of which will be used to inform the upgrade and build of the new web tool during a secondary project.

Key findings

The new web tool will offer updated functionality for:

  • searching the database and refining or customising a search
  • viewing further detail of an animal and comparing multiple animals
    viewing a stud profile
  • viewing a personalised dashboard and an account page
  • listing animals for sale and semen availability

The key feedback from producers was:

  • most users liked and understood the new home page of the web tool and the simple language used
  • all users were comfortable with the expandable layout, which allowed users to view all of the 'drop down' options
  • all users liked the 'flagged list' function, which provides the ability to 'flag' individual or multiple animals of interest
  • all users thought the sale catalogue functionality was a great improvement and had reduced the volume of inconsistent and confusing information.

Benefits to industry

Once designed and built, the new Sheep Genetics web tool will better serve the needs of commercial and seedstock sheep producers. This will contribute to the overarching goal of increasing the rate of genetic gain in the Australian red meat industry.

Future research

The results from the developmental stage of the 'Sheep Genetics' database upgrade will support the establishment of phase two; design and development of the new web tool. The upgrade will include new features and functionality being implemented between 2020 and 2021.

MLA will also use the stakeholder findings from the development project to inform future extension activities for Australia's commercial and seedstock producers.

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: TigerSpike Pty Ltd