It is important that a stud focuses its breeding objectives to best position itself to ensure long term above average profitability of its clients flocks.
To do this we must find the best long term compromise between fleece weight and fibre diameter. Hence, we are using the Merino Select FP+ selection index . We believe this direction will allow our clients to achieve the best possible return on wool as over a ten year time frame this selection index will enable us to achieve the following:
- Maintain or slightly reduce current flock micron (16.2 micron currently)
- A moderate to high increase in fleece weight over the same period
- Increase staple strength by 2.1N/ktex
- Increase body weight by 2 kg
Importantly the following additional standards will be maintained:
- Maintain the highest possible standards of wool quality including colour, softness, staple structure, eveness of crimp and tip formation
- Maintain high fertility but not increase it. Lambings of 95-105% provide more than enough sheep from which to select quality replacements. Higher lambings than this are at the expense of wool production
- Breed hardy sheep that have high resistance to worm infestation
- Breed sheep wth a maximum fly strike resistance
Cressbrook Merinos have been using this indexes similar to this since 2000 and have proved that the above goals can be achieved as depicted by the genetic trend graph in “Our Progress”.
We achieve this by combining the best that objective measurement and the the time honoured skills of visual assessment have to offer. Both methods are employed to assure accurate and consistent assessment of all these characters.