Record number of genotypes included in sheep genetics evaluations

Meat and Livestock Australia recorded a record number of genotypes submitted to the Sheep Genetics evaluations in there 2022-2023 report.

The Australian sheep flock is continuing to experience genetic gain, driven by ongoing growth in the Sheep Genetics program, as revealed in a new report released by Meat and Livestock Australia.

The genetic gain which is a key driver of farmer productivity, profitability, and sustainability, was detailed within the Sheep Genetics Annual Outcomes Report for 2022-2023.

MLA reported that the Sheep Genetics program experienced a record number of genotypes submitted to the Sheep Genetics evaluations.

This increase in genotyping as well as a range of other SheepGenetics activities has underpinned the increase in genetic gain across all industry indexes.

During this same period a record number of new animals were submitted to both the MerinoSelect and LamPlan evaluations with more than 420,000 animals submitted during this period.

Making it the largest submission in a 12-month period since the establishment of SheepGenetics in 2005.

The increase in number of genotypes, rate of genetic progress and number of animals submitted to Sheep Genetics means that sheep producers have access to more animals with Australian SheepBreeding Values (ASBVs) than ever before and the merit of these animals is continuing to improve.

Throughout 2022–23, Sheep Genetics continued to see increased growth in both the number of animals in the evaluations, and the number of members contributing to a total of 1305 flocks.

Manager of Sheep Genetics for MLA Peta Bradley said the Sheep Genetics team has a strong focus on working with the range of service providers and delivering for their growing client list.

“As the use of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) continues to grow within the commercial sector we’ve seen mimicked growth in the number of animals and clients involved in sheep genetics,” she said.

“This has been achieved alongside genetic gain across all the standard indexes.

“Selection indexes combine several important production traits into a single number and are an important tool to drive genetic improvement where there are a range of traits of economic or functional importance.”