Focus on lamb genetics

Posted: July 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

LAMB producers can increase profit by greater use of genetics without downgrading eating quality.

That's the view of Kangaroo Island lamb producer and Nuffield scholar, Andrew Heinrich.

"I was concerned that we were going too lean, but now I am very confident we are going down the right track," Mr Heinrich said.

The Parndana producer will present the findings of his Nuffield scholarship study into the future of lamb production at the annual conference of the Grassland Society of Southern Australia in Launceston this Friday, July 27.

He said the study, into how more efficient genetics could achieve improved carcass quality in sheep, was prompted by his worry about pushing too hard in genetics.

But an international review has convinced him the prime lamb industry can become more profitable through measurement without changing eating quality.

Mr Heinrich runs a wool, prime lamb and cattle operation along with a White Suffolk stud on 820ha near the centre of Kangaroo Island.

The property supports about 6000 grown sheep, including a self-replacing Merino flock of 1400 ewes along with 1200 wethers.

Mr Heinrich said his main aim was to lower micron while increasing wool cut; breeding sheep to be worm resistant and measuring carcass traits to increasing carcass yields.

The farm uses rotational grazing of perennial grasses and sub clover and matches livestock feed demand to pasture production.

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Focus on lamb genetics

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