All in the genes: Investing in better genetics lifts profits

Buying a better performing ram could earn producers greater annual returns and equate to significant gains in overall enterprise income, according to a sheep and wool adviser.

Geoff Duddy from Sheep Solutions has been a guest presenter at Leading Sheep workshops in south western Queensland this year, advising on management strategies to minimise supplementary feeding, reduce production costs and boost income.

When it came to profit margins Mr Duddy said genetics, nutrition and management played a critical part in lamb growth and weight gains. It was these elements, he emphasised, that producers needed to focus on as they were readily influenced at a property level.

“Genetics are at the core of any livestock operation and in the case of sheep and wool operations, coupled with nutrition, they are the primary influences of speed of lamb turn off,” he explained.

“While wool cuts and quality are impacted by genetics and management if you want to improve reproduction rates you need to look at genetics, nutrition and management.”

Regardless of the market goal, the experienced adviser, who has more than 25 years in the industry, said producers could generally make money by investing in better genetics.

“Investing in quality genetics, for example buying in better performing rams based on Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV) could easily equate to an extra $10 to $15 per lamb annually,” Mr Duddy said.

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