What’s the best sheep type for a combination of prime lamb and wool production? This question has been debated by sheep producers for years. The Elmore Field Days have completed one and are currently conducting a second ewe productivity trial.

The main characters of interest are:

  • lambing percentages
  •  lamb growth rates
  •  wool production
  •  profitability

The trials are conducted by the Elmore Field Days Sheep Committee in cooperation with the Campaspe Lamb Producers Group. Sheep are shorn at the Elmore Field Days in October each year.

Photo of Sheep

Current Trial- Fertility, Lambs & Wool 2015-2019

Six breed types of ewes are being compared for prime lamb and wool production.  A total of 252 ewe lambs from 6 breed-types, each represented by 42 ewes are being joined to terminal sire rams.  Each breed type group was randomly selected from 3 properties

The ewe breed types are:

  • Border Leicester x Merino Crossbred ewes.  The most common prime lamb mother in the Elmore and northern districts.
  • Multimeat x Merino Crossbred ewes.  Multimeats are a composite breed based on White Suffolk genetics.  They supply rams that are DNA tested to carry 2 copies of the Booroola fertility gene.  These rams breed first cross ewes from Merinos.  The first cross lambs carry one copy of the gene.
  • Cashmore-Oaklea Performance Maternals (Composites).  Cashmore-Oaklea Performance Maternals (Composites) have bred sheep from the following breeds: Coopworth, Border Leicester and 11 other breeds.
  • Merino Loddon Valley.  The second most common prime lamb mother in the Elmore and northern districts.  Rams are predominantly Peppin genetics but some studs contain some South Australian Merino genetics. 
  • Leahcim Merinos.  Leahcim is a South Australian Merino stud that has a long history of selecting a meat type merino with a low wrinkle, bare points, no need to mules but with high quality wool.
  • Centre Plus Merino.  Centre Plus is a group breeding scheme and registered Merino stud and in Central West NSW that has achieved a good reputation from the high dual purpose and fine wool index ASBVs on the Sheep Genetics Australia website.

Click here to download the EFD ewe trial report from Feb 2018

 

 Sheep phot

First Trial- Ewes for the Future Lambs Wool & Profit 2009-2014

The first Elmore Field Days trial, Ewes for the Future- Lambs Wool & Profit began in 2009. The trial compared the merits of five alternative sheep tyes in the Northern Victorian environment of Elmore. 

View the summary of results below.

 EFD EweTrial2011 14 Results Section 1 Summary pages1 12

For a copy of the full results please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For a copy of the Economic Results of First Trial please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To view a presentation on an economic analysis of the results given at the 2017 Bestwool Bestlamb conference ‘Ewes for the future – lambs, wool & profit.   Jan 2009 to Oct 2014’  follow the links below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo2bzqfFssY&feature=youtu.be

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/beef-and-sheep-networks/bestwool-bestlamb/bestwoolbest-lamb-conference-videos