We're part of the Merino Lifetime Productivity project looking at the performance of Merino ewes over their lifetime to help the Australian Merino industry understand what makes the best Merinos.

The challenge

How to breed the perfect Merino?

Trying to find the sheep that are the most productive over time with all the best wool, meat and reproductive traits, and being able to choose them early in life with confidence, can be difficult.

Ewe and lamb in a paddock

Whether they're good lambers, grow fine wool and are disease resistant, for example, are the sorts of things producers would like to know with some certainty as part of their breeding programs.

Information on such quality traits is difficult and costly to gather and takes a long-term coordinated effort.

Our response

The Merino Lifetime Productivity Project

Our livestock research site at Armidale in the New England high country in New South Wales is a host site for the Merino Lifetime Productivity Project. The project is headed by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) and is being conducted over ten years. Flocks are also based at four other sites around Australia.

The results

Answering important questions about Merino breeding

The project will create a huge amount of information on genetic and visual traits on diverse Merino types across a range of environments to help better understand and deliver Merino ewe performance outcomes for the Australian Merino industry.

It will allow the industry to answer important questions about breeding for a long time to come.

Unique Merino datasets are available for the first two lamb drops so far.

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