PLAN AHEAD: NSW DPI Phil Graham says producers needed to benchmark and plan their breeding objectives to avoid flock extremities.SHEEP producers will be challenged on their breeding direction as attendees of LambEx 2016 debate whether the industry is producing the right ewe for the future.

Department ofPrimary Industry grazing technical specialist,Phil Graham, Yass, NSW, will addressthis challenge and askwhether the industry was heading in the right breeding directionfor the economic, social and environmental climate for 15 years from now.

Mr Graham saidthe forum would analyse the impact current breeding selections had on flocks.

“It is critical to consider what the appropriate ewe is for your enterprise in ten or fifteen years,” he said.

“Producers are making breeding decisions now when they buy rams about how they want him to influence their flock.They need to consider how their genetic selections nowwill set their production and breeding system up for the next decade.”

He said, discussion among breeders about the mature body weight of a composite ewe was one of many discussions which had brought the issue of long-term genetic planning to a head​.

Mr Graham will use GrassGro to predict the genetic development of NSW flocks’ wool, meat and milk production, based on current management decisions.

“Breeding is slow but if you’re going down the wrong path, you get a fair way down before you realise you need to turn around and go back,” Mr Grahamsaid.

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