AWI grower networks
AWI's grower networks are fundamental to the spread of new ideas, continuing education and the adoption of best practice.
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Merino Sire Evaluation is run by the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association. The progeny of 12-15 sires at a specific site are compared over two years with annual reports posted on the Merino Superior Sires website.
There are 10 sites across Australia, some are not active all years:
The sites are run by local committees who make a considerable contribution through in kind labour. Additional running costs are covered by sire entrant fees which range from $2,000 to $3,500 per sire between the sites. Collectively, the sites are overseen by the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) Executive Committee made up of site representatives, AWI, MLA, and the Executive Officer. The operations of the Executive is funded by AWI.
Individual sires are joined through artificial insemination to 50 to 60 ewes. The ewes are randomly drawn from a consistent, well classed line of ewes to avoid bias. Link sires allow sires to be compared between years and between sites. Results are reported annually at a site field day and a Site Report on all assessments, including sire means and Flock Breeding Values, is produced and placed on the Merino Superior Sires website.
AMSEA produces an annual Merino Superior Sires publication which includes all AMSEA data combined with on-farm (ram breeder) data relating to the relevant sires.