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Welcome to the news page for
PENDARRA WHITE SUFFOLK STUD and PERFORMANCE plus GENETICS.
We will frequently use this page as a notice board to let you know what is happening within our stud and allow new visitors to our site to see some of the highlights over the past few years.
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Re-evaluation of our Stud Numbers - EWES FOR SALE
With lambing almost finished and some great looking lambs on the ground, it is with some relief that all has gone as well as it has. An ongoing health issue within our family escalated just prior to lambing time distracting a lot a effort from what was occurring on farm and so I have decided to rethink just how best to cope with all that may continue to happen both on and off farm. We have made a decision to cut back on stud ewe numbers and concentrate our focus with even higher intensity on areas such as fertility and genomics. We envisage that this will not greatly affect the number of rams we produce annually as the cut backs will be in the semi-commercial White Suffolk ewe mobs and allow us to cull even heavier within the main stud mob. With the industry beginning to look closely at areas such as fertility and processors becoming more aware of specific carcase traits, we will be able to concentrate our endeavours on producing even higher quality sires with high performance in all the traits that we can evaluate. The focus of our breeding program will become even more focused toward commercial traits that will benefit all within the lamb industry.
We therefore will have a number of quality stud ewes available for sale. For details please contact us. All will be supplied with full pedigree details and all had been scanned in lamb in the previous season and lambed. Contact us for details.
Speaking on Genomics at Australian Society of Animal Production
It was a great honour to be asked to present a paper and speak at a regional seminar for the Australian Society of Animal Production/Sheep CRC held at Cowra on 29th May. The title of my presentation; "Application of Genomics to Breeding", detailed the practical use of Genomics to the Sheep Industry and how genomics can improve the profitability of all sheep producers. Plenty of useful information was presented at the seminar and the large group of attendees had plenty of interesting questions for all presenters as we enter a new era in sheep breeding and the avenues that are available to the whole industry.
For a copy of the paper and all others presented at the ASAP/Sheep CRC seminar use the following link "ASAP/Sheep CRC Seminar".
It has been a great thrill to have been involved, and to continue to be involved, with the Sheep CRC and the various projects and workshops that have originated from the research program. I have been fortunate to have played an active role in the development of the Ram Select Workshops that are a must for all commercial sheep producers, to have represented the participation of the SuperWhites group into a large scale genotyping program and to have have had to opportunity to work with the proactive breeders and scientists that are the management group of the Sheep CRC program. Let's hope the extension bid gets approval so we can continue to discover and fine tune the future direction of the Australian Sheep industry.
Continuing the use of Genomics
There is now little doubt about the use and effectiveness of DNA testing in the Australian sheep industry and here at Pendarra we are making the most of every opportunity to find out a little more about our genetics. The technology developed as part of the last 7 years of research by Sheep CRC has forever changed the level of technology available to stud breeders to improve genetic gain.
After an ordinary year to finish 2012 which gave us a deluge in less than a week in March and nothing to follow, our sheep felt the pressure of a colder than average Winter, no Spring and a very hot and dry summer. Our policy to allow our genetics to express themselves under commercial conditions and to not supplementary feed our young stock until all performance measurements were completed gave us some interesting results. While it resulted in lower growth rates across the board than we had become accustomed to, there were many sire lines that still performed well under the toughest test we have seen at Pendarra. Our focus on "do-ability" was tested to the limit and with the use of DNA testing to determine the "real" genetic merit, not the feed generated merit, of our young potential sires, we are certain that this years sires are the best we have produced.
Not only have we DNA tested around 25% of the young sires but initially made our selections based on their ability to perform under the pressure of a tight season. The DNA results has confirmed the growth, muscle and fat levels of the young sires and given us the confidence to make selections based on all the information we have available. Without Genomics we would have been less confident with our selections. Cannot wait to see how these selections perform in next years joining.
An interesting selection of sires
For our joining program this year we made the decision to concentrate almost our entire sire group with 2011 drop sires, both for the natural and AI joining. For the list of our sires available to us visit the 2011 sire selection page plus we sourced some high performance young sires for use in our AI program where we inseminated over 200 ewes. Farrer 100135 was used again due to his great results in the previous year. Pollambi 110451, an appendix sire with great performance data was included along with our allocations from the SuperWhite program and the 2 Pendarra sires we had selected for the Superwhite program; Pendarra 119611 and Pendarra 119492. We also used a young Pendarra sire that we had sold as a ram lamb, Pendarra 119392, based on his excellent MEQ traits.
We look forward to seeing these lambs on the ground in June and July, let's hope we have some decent rainfall before then.
Sires setting the benchmark
The increasing number of meat eating quality trials across all states has seen the demand for our genetics reach high levels as several of our sires are the benchmark for MEQ traits in the industry and the search for information on these traits continues. These trials are utilising a wide range of genetics to further understand the heritabilities and environmental effects on MEQ. To date around 20-25 of our sires have been included in these trials making use of the large collection of historical sires we have in our semen storage tank. Unfortunately the semen stocks of many of these sires is running low but the information gained from this research will assist all sheep producers and the sheep industry to move to the next level of genetic gain involving much more than just what we can see or measure.
Pendarra 075630 continues to be the sire in most demand for these trials as he has perhaps the best combined levels of Intra muscular fat and tenderness available to the industry. Several of his sons, both here and in other studs, have also performed well on MEQ traits and he will be taken back to the AI centre to ensure we have a good supply of his genetics well into the near future. With a good spread of progeny across the White Suffolk breed, there are plenty of daughters to continue his legacy, not only from a MEQ focus, but also his outstanding carcase attributes.
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& Diane Long
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White Suffolk Stud