Expanding the scope and increasing the accuracy of wether trials and on-farm bloodline comparisons

Wether trials and on-farm bloodline comparisons offer woolgrowers an opportunity to benchmark their genetics to the rest of the industry. In recognition of their important role in the Merino industry throughout Australia, Australian Wool Innovation Limited is providing funding to update the wether trial guidelines and expand the range of measurements collected at trials.

Funding for additional measurements at wether trial sites throughout Australia (approximately $2,000 per site per year) is now available through NSW Department of Primary Industries. The aim of this initiative is to expand the scope and accuracy of comparative flock performance by providing trials with the opportunity to measure additional traits that are of significance to the Merino industry above the 'standard traits' currently being measured and assessed.

Standard traits include fibre diameter, yield, greasy fleece weight, body weight, fat score and AWEX ID and/or Bin Lines.

Additional traits may include staple strength and length, faecal egg counts and live carcase scanning. Application forms are available from NSW DPI and are designed such that each site must provide reasons/justification for additional testing and how the information generated would be meaningful to participating wool producers.

The guidelines for running wether trials and on-farm genetic evaluations have recently been updated to reflect new AWEX descriptions and guidelines for the collection of a wider array of measurements. The guidelines present a comprehensive overview for running a wether trial that will ensure that results collected from each trial are meaningful.

For more information about Additional trait funding (PDF, 187.32 KB) and to obtain a copy of the updated guidelines, contact:

Dr Sue Hatcher
Principal Research Scientist
NSW DPI, Orange Agricultural Institute
Locked Bag 6006
Orange NSW 2800
P: 02 6391 3861
F: 02 6391 3922
E: sue.hatcher@dpi.nsw.gov.au