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Funding for Australian sheep industry research

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According to reports published in West Australia press work is underway on a merino trial in WA’s Great Southern region, which is just one new project being funded by a $10 million State Government program to develop the sheep industry.

Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) research officer Meghan Cornelius said producers are driving a resurgence in sheep industry research. “This [research] system has been around a long time but it has been a little slow to be adopted,” she said. “But that is changing and there is a lot of interest from producers and breeders to look at the genetic value of the animals, rather than just how they look.”

The funding is coming from Ministry of Agriculture of Western Australia and trial will be based at the Mount Barker DAFWA research centre.

A total of 11 rams from WA studs and two from studs on the east coast were used to inseminate merino ewes from the department’s research facility flock.

Their lambs are set to drop in early July and will be assessed on wool and sheep meat traits including fat content, muscle depth, growth rates, fleece weight, length and strength.

Ms Cornelius said the merino trial would help create a national benchmark for genetics research.

She said the “end goal” of the research was to improve sheep production.

“[The aim is to] get the producers doing their ram selection from these sires that we know the genetic value of,” she said

Source: West Australian



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