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Analysis and Reporting Updates for LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT

April 2014

At the completion of the 21st of April MERINOSELECT run and the 15th of April LAMBPLAN run some analysis updates will be implemented. The following table outlines the changes being made and which part of the analysis will be influenced.

Both LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT

RBVs to ASBVs

Where applicable an ASBV will now incorporate genomic information in the routine analysis. To date breeding values with genomic information (from DNA testing) have been reported as an RBV (research breeding value). ASBVs, as always, aim to predict an animal’s genetic potential by making the best use of available information. This includes performance records and pedigree information. Genomic information will now also be incorporated alongside all other sources of information to provide the most accurate ASBV possible.

Animals that have genomic information incorporated into their ASBVs will have a flag against them when reported on the website.

The new traits, such as eating quality traits, will also be visible on the website but will continue to be referred to as RBVs.

Yearling reproduction groups

It has been identified that there were some minor issues with grouping in the MERINOSELECT and LAMBPLAN reproduction analyses with regards to yearling lambing. The grouping methodology has been improved to provide more accurate information contributing to the ASBV for yearling number of lambs weaned (YNLW). Breeders currently recording this trait may notice some slight changes in their ASBVs for YNLW however NLW should remain stable

LAMBPLAN only

Extra adult weights

Adult weights submitted as “ewe weight at joining” are now being utilised in the Terminal and Maternal LAMBPLAN analysis.

  • Terminal = 4,711 animals (9,861 new records utilized)
  • Maternal = 3,064 animals (5,508 new records utilized)

Development work is also underway to utilise repeated adult weight measurements in the analysis. Breeders are encouraged to continue to measure and submit repeated adult weight measurements to assist the development.

Carcase traits

Already within the terminal analysis and now also in the maternal analysis, extra information is being captured from kill data for the traits of carcase weight, carcase fat and carcase eye muscle depth. This information will be used as correlated information to add increased accuracy to the already reported ASBVs for growth and carcase.

MERINOSELECT only

Index updates

Following requests from breeders AGBU have looked at the MERINOSELECT indexes and have recommended that the following changes be implemented to the MERINOSELECT weighting:

  • Reduced emphasis on staple strength for Dual Purpose Plus index
  • Reduced emphasis on staple strength and greater wool focus for Merino Production plus  (MP+) index
  • Reduced emphasis on staple strength, removal of curvature for Fibre Production plus (FP+) index

The changes to the DP+ and FP+ indexes are relatively minor, however you may notice that the MP+ index might re-rank a few animals depending on their ASBVs for YCFW and YSS.

If you want further information please feel free to contact Luke Stephen on 02 6773 2948 or email info@sheepgenetics.org.au

Genetic groups in the visual analysis

Genetic groups are currently used in the MERINOSELECT analysis for the majority of the production traits with the exception of the visual trait analysis. Genetic groups are used where a flock currently sits in the MERINOSELECT analysis based on the information that is known in the database. It is effectively the starting point for information that has pedigree missing.

These will now be fitted for the visual analysis.  There will be some changes to how your breech strike resistance traits look and rank in the MERINOSELECT analysis. There are larger changes in Early Breech Wrinkle (EBRWR) than there is for Late Dag (LDAG).

DOHNE only

Reproduction trait analysis

The major change to the Dohne ASBV analysis is the introduction of the reproduction analysis. ASBVs will now available for Number of Lambs Born (NLB) and Number of Lambs Weaned (NLW). The information used for reproduction will be those that the breeders and not just correlated traits.

As reproduction also makes up a significant a significant part of the index there will be significant differences in the ABS Dohne index.  To be able to account for flocks that aren’t recording reproduction an index that does not include reproduction traits will be created for the Dohne Analysis, more information will be sent out to breeders regarding this in the upcoming weeks.

Reporting changes

The Dohne Analysis has been moved from the 1st and 15th of the month to the 7th and 21st of each month. Although the date has changed, ASBVs will still be made available to you in a timely manner. Data will still need to be submitted to database@sheepgenetics.org.au.

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