New terminology for breeding values

ASBVs will become the primary sheep genetic evaluation language in both MERINOSELECT and LAMBPLAN.

ASBVs will be derived from measured or visually scored traits using agreed standard procedures.

In many respects, ASBVs are similar to genetic evaluation estimates that are used in other sectors of the livestock industry.

There will be a wide range of ASBVs. They will be available for the following core traits:

  • wool
  • growth
  • carcase
  • reproduction
  • internal parasite resistance
  • temperament

To ensure integrity, genetic data will only earn ASBV status if it meets accuracy, quality assurance and across flock linkage standards, determined after review by a technical committee of Sheep Genetics.

Producers will be able to use ASBVs in selection programs to focus on specific traits such as fibre diameter, growth rate, reproductive rate or a combination of traits that suit their flocks’ breeding objective.

In the future, other traits may be considered and included. These include structural soundness, bare breech, style, crimp definition, face cover, body wrinkle, wool colour and lambing ease.

Those animals with the most favourable ASBVs for different traits will be identified in trait leader and elite animal summaries.

Flock Breeding Values (FBVs) will be a secondary term to allow breeders whose data do not meet ASBV standards at a particular point in time to receive breeding values that are comparable within their flock only.