The impacts of COVID-19 mean many producers may not be able to attend bull and ram sales this buying season — especially if they need to travel interstate.
However, this doesn’t mean the quality of sire selections needs to be impacted according to Meat and Livestock Australia, which has released a series of tips on how to choose a sire when you can't attend a sale.
Bulls and rams are a mobile delivery system for genes, and accessing breeding values will provide information on the genetic merit of the different sires on offer.
What can’t be seen in an animal is just as important as what can be, and with breeding values available pre-sale, producers can do most of the research before a sale to identify the sires which are right for their business.
Even if you can’t head to a sale, the MLA recommends:
● Using breeding values (Estimated Breeding Values for cattle and Australian Sheep Breeding Values for sheep) to filter the sale catalogue and shortlist sires which meet your breeding objectives.
● Request photos, videos and additional information from breeders well before sale day to check physical elements of each sire on your shortlist, such as their structure and temperament.
● Use this additional information to equip your agent (or whoever will be representing you at the sale) with your prioritised list of sires, taking into account the number of sires required and budget.
For more information or to learn more about the breeding values available, visit: genetics.mla.com.au