Genetics on agenda

February 02, 2018

Jason Trompf is conducting trials on maternal genetics and will outline the results to date at the 2018 White Suffolks conference in Creswick.

The latest in maternal genetic trials and genomic testing will be outlined to stud and commercial producers at the annual Australian White Suffolk Association Conference next month.

The conference, to be held on February 11 to 14 at RACV Goldfields Resort, Creswick, Victoria, will draw more than 60 delegates from almost every state and territory.

The event will be open to commercial producers, industry stakeholders and the public who have registered to attend.

Sheep CRC researcher Dave Pethick will open the morning session on February 12 with the latest news on genomic advancements, followed by Jason Trompf of Agri-Source speaking on the White Suffolk’s performance in maternal trials.

Sheep Producers Australia chairman and White Suffolk breeder Allan Piggott will cover trends in overseas sheep and lamb markets, plus industry issues, while delegates will enjoy a dinner that evening featuring guest speaker Nathan Scott.

Guest speakers on the second day include Liv Ryan of McCain Ballarat, giving a run down on the local potato industry; Mike Stephens of Meridian Agriculture, on succession planning; and Struan Pearce of will give social media and online marketing advice.

Producers will receive an update on LAMBPLAN and hear the latest trends on the skin market for White Suffolks from PKF Sheepskin Valuations principal Paul Fitzsummons from Adelaide.

Boasting more than 30 years’ experience in the sheepskin industry, Mr Fitzummons started his own business in 2012 and specialises in sourcing sheep and lambskins (green and drum salted) for domestic and overseas clients.

The conference will conclude on Tuesday evening with a dinner featuring White Suffolk lamb cuisine and the AWSA Young Guns quiz night.

AWSA president Peter Button said producers were encouraged to join the association’s commercial register in anticipation of a White Suffolk lamb brand being rolled out nationally.

Mr Button said the conference would include information on the maternal performance of the breed, with many producers electing to retain their first-cross ewes as a self-replacing flock.

In 2017, White Suffolks received higher returns and better clearance rates than in previous years, with many sales averaging from $1000 to $1500 for flock rams.

New records were set for a stud ewe at $5000 and an on-property sale record in NSW for a stud ram at $21000.

This followed a national record price of $68000 for a White Suffolk stud ram in 2016.

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