Finding the right ram – ag station workshop
SHEEP producers are invited to attend a free hands-on RamSelect workshop to refine their ram selection skills at the Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station this Wednesday, August 22.
Right: DPI sheep breeding specialist, Allan Casey, says RamSelect is a hands-on workshop for producers who want to meet their flock breeding objective with the right ram for the job.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Co-operative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation developed RamSelect to give producers practical skills in selecting the right ram to meet their breeding objective and maximise returns from their flock, says DPI sheep breeding specialist, Allan Casey.
Mr Casey and DPI livestock officers, Jane Kelly and Megan Rogers, will present information during the event which will be hosted by the Felix Poll Dorset and White Suffolk sheep stud.
The workshop has been designed to suit all enterprises, including terminal sire breeds.
Mr Casey says producers need to ensure they get value from the sires selected for their wool, meat and dual-purpose enterprises.
“Producers need to get it right – ram buyers have a very challenging job as their decisions influence the genetic gain and profitability of the flock,” he says.
“The one-day RamSelect workshop aims to make those decisions a lot easier and help ensure producers are selecting the best rams for their flock breeding objective.
“It gives producers the know-how to set a price for the standard of ram they want at a sale.
“We are not suggesting producers select a particular type of ram – an important part of the workshop helps producers define their flock objective and provides the skills they need to select rams which meet that objective.”
Mr Casey says producers need to be confident in using measured performance information and combine that with their visual assessment of the rams.
“New formats for performance information, Australian Sheep Breeding Values which capture the best estimate of how a ram’s progeny will perform for a particular trait and updated indexes are being made available by ram breeders,” he says.
“RamSelect gives producers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to use performance indexes in their selection process.”
Practical activities dominate the workshops to help producers develop the skills needed to select rams which deliver the flock improvement they are targeting.
Producers wanting to attend the workshop should contact DPI Advanced Breeding Services project officer, Jac Staines, on (02) 6391 3901 or email@example.com.
Further information is available from www.sheepconnectnsw.com.au.