Merino breeding objectives and selection indexes to increase wool profit


Around 90% of the value of a Merino fleece is determined by two traits: clean fleece weight and fibre diameter. As these two traits are strongly inherited, inexpensive to measure and so important to profit they represent ideal selection criteria for Merino breeding programs focused on maximising genetic improvement in wool revenue.

The Trangie QPLU$ Merino project showed that by using an appropriately weighted selection index, it is possible to vary the relative selection emphasis and resultant rate of improvement in fibre diameter relative to fleece weight, which directly affects fleece value.

This Primefact covers:

  • improvements made in clean fleece weight and fibre diameter for various breeding objectives in three Merino strains;
  • the resultant improvements in hogget fleece value from index selection.


Primefact 579

Published: Mar 2007