Over the last twelve months we have entered into the process of getting the entire stud data loaded into a computer programme and electronically tagging all of our ewes. This is allowing us to collect more data easily and accurately. By this year’s ram selling season we hope to have breeding values available to clients who wish to use them. We don’t believe that breeding values should be the sole selection criteria to choosing rams but are a tool that can be used alongside visual appraisal. We have entered two rams into the Canterbury Progeny Trail that will hopefully give us good linkages to other studs. It will however take a couple of years of information to get good accuracies.
In the past we have foot scored all our reserve sires. We haven’t extended this to all our sale rams as through our trail work under our management systems we have found no correlation to the occurrence (or ability to overcome) footrot and the Lincoln Gene Marker score. We look forward to the results from the NZM production science trails and hope to incorporate their findings into our breeding programme.