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Latest ACE Evaluations Now Online

Latest ACE Evaluations Now Online

Farmers wanting to maximise returns from their sheep and lambs can now access online the latest ACE (Advanced Central Evaluation) evaluations. These evaluations enable breeders to speed up genetic gains by identifying the best performing rams from those flocks participating in the ACE analysis. ACE is run by SIL (Sheep Improvement Ltd), which is funded by Meat and Wool New Zealand.

“ACE listings are posted regularly on the internet for top performing sheep across a variety of traits and indexes. ACE indexes are based on standard SIL indexes. There are separate listings for each trait and index,” Richard Wakelin, (Manager – Genetics, Meat & Wool NZ) says.

“We are adding new services to ACE as well. One improvement that will please farmers is that listings are becoming more frequent. Originally they were put online every six months, but from now on the ACE reports will be run every two months”, Mr Wakelin said.

ACE lists two main types of sheep separately: dual-purpose sheep, where some lambs are destined for meat production and others are kept as replacements for the ewe stock; and terminal sire sheep where, commercially, all lambs born to a sire are destined for meat production.

Each listing only identifies animals in the top 20 percent. To be included in an ACE listing, flocks must have sufficient linkage to enable robust analysis of data. So some good animals may not appear on ACE lists if good genetic linkage hasn’t been established or if breeder permission hasn’t been given for their data to be included.

Not all breeders can take part. In order to participate in ACE evaluations, breeders must have flock performance recorded on the SIL system.

“There are some things that ACE cannot do. For instance, ACE can’t identify a single sheep as the best in New Zealand. Although ACE ranks animals on key production traits, it does not do so for all traits important to sheep production. Some traits do not lend themselves to ACE analysis, and other characteristics are not part of ACE as yet. However, ACE is always working to add traits, to increase the pool of animals evaluated and to fine-tune analyses,” Mr Wakelin says.

“The overall aim of ACE is to assist widespread use of high-quality animals throughout the industry. That way, the whole industry moves forward,” he says.

To find out more about ACE and to download the most recent ACE listings, visit: www.silace.co.nz, contact your SIL Bureau or call 0800-745-435 (0800-SIL-HELP)

Ends


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