How to use the Merino Bloodline Performance information

Table 2 (Primefact 1472, page 3) provides the details of bloodlines in numerical form for a range of traits. The headings for each column in Table 2 are listed in Table 1 (page 2).

Figure 1 (Primefact 1472, page 8) shows the bloodline deviations for clean fleece weight (%) and fibre diameter (µm) data from Table 2 in graphical form. The code number for each bloodline is listed in Table 2.

The zero value for fibre diameter is 18.6 µm and for clean fleece weight 4.4 kg. The average values for each of the traits are shown at the bottom of each page of Table 2.

GrassGro™ was used to calculate the financial performance of each bloodline, using median wool prices from 2011 – 2015 and a median mutton price of 305c/kg carcass weight in a typical south west slopes grazing system. The GrassGro™ simulations generates an annual profit for each bloodline during the simulation period, from 1962 to the end of 2015, which accounts for the full range of seasonal conditions from drought through to long wet years. From this information, two measures of financial performance are provided for each bloodline:

  • average profit per head ($/hd): which partially accounts for differences in liveweight between bloodlines
  • average profit per dry sheep equivalent ($/DSE): which accounts for the impact that differences in liveweight will have on grazing pressure. The DSE rating calculated by GrassGro™ was based on 53 years of simulations based on the consumption of feed for a given liveweight and fleece production.

The 2016 analysis includes a measure of the variability in financial performance of the bloodlines - the standard deviation (St dev) of profit on both a $/hd and $/DSE basis. The standard deviation of profit provides an indication of the variation around the average profit on both a $/hd and $/DSE basis and are listed for each bloodline in Table 2. A large standard deviation indicates greater variation in profit compared with a smaller standard deviation.

Figure 4 shows the bloodline deviations for profit calculated as $/head and fibre diameter, while Figure 5 shows the bloodline deviations for profit calculated as $/DSE and fibre diameter.

Figure 6 shows the bloodline deviations for profit calculated at $/DSE and clean fleece weight and Figure 7 shows the bloodline deviations for profit calculated as $/DSE and liveweight.

If you are looking for information about a particular trait, use Table 2 (Primefact 1472, page 3). This lists the relative performance of each bloodlines for the 11 listed traits.

To quickly identify the most profitable bloodlines, use Figures 5, 6 and 7. Each of these figures depicts the relative financial performance of the bloodlines on a DSE basis, and as such the impact of liveweight on stocking rate is removed.

Find out how the bloodlines perform under different wool market scenarios and different production systems.

Look at how your identified bloodlines perform under each market scenario for the production region that best matches your own. A bloodline that performs well in all market scenarios is less risky than a bloodline that only performs under 1 particular market condition.

Make sure that you look at your short listed bloodlines using all the information, not just one table or figure.