The MLA Resource Flock first began as the Sheep CRC Information Nucleus Flock (INF) in 2007 and ran for five years until 2012. Over these five years, there was a large number of traits collected every year on the progeny of 5,000 ewes that were joined to over 100 industry sires annually.
From 2012, the MLA Resource Flock commenced and began collecting traits that are hard to measure (phenotypes) and genotypes on the progeny of sires nominated from the industry by breeders.
In addition to underpinning genomic reference populations, the resource flocks are used for numerous other experiments, these include:
Annually you can nominate your sires to be used at the MLA Resource Flock sites. The two primary sites are at:
Approximately 120 sires selected from the nomination process are artificially inseminated to ewes across these sites. The progeny from these matings are genotyped and measured throughout their life and are taken through to slaughter, where a range of post-slaughter measurements are taken.
In addition to these sites, add-on projects are run to complement the MLA Resource Flock. These projects aim to capture information from breeder flocks, some of which is not captured in the MLA Resource Flocks such as reproduction. Add-on projects also aim to target how information for hard-to-measure traits can be collected on-farm.
Reasons to use genomics in the MERINOSELECT and LAMBPLAN evaluations include:
The MLA Resource Flock aims to develop an industry reference population and focuses on diversity more than genetic merit.
Key selection criteria include:
Annually approximately 120 sires are selected from a range of breeds. The number of sires selected from each breed depends on the:
MLA Resource Flock add-on projects have their own selection criteria outlined in the Expressions of Interest of each project.
If you are interested in nominating a sire/s to be used at the MLA Resource Flock sites, nominations open annually in spring. Details of the nominations will be communicated via monthly updates, Breeders Bulletin and email.
Applications for MLA Resource Flock add-on projects will also be sent through these communication