Ram buying season is underway and farmers are being encouraged to make use of the free, online tool nProve to help them find the rams that best meet their breeding objectives.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics Sheep Operations Specialist, Sarah Powdrell, says nProve is a user-friendly online tool designed to help commercial farmers find the rams that are the best fit for their particular needs.
“It presents the data in a user-friendly, transparent format to allow farmers to objectively compare genetics.”
She says when using nProve, farmers need to identify and prioritise the traits that are important to them and then through a series of buttons and sliders, describe what they need from a ram.
Sarah recommends farmers have a play with the tool, as while it will identify ram options nation-wide that best match an individual’s selection criteria, the options can be narrowed down by region, breed and birth year.
Farmers, she says, need the best data possible to get a sound estimate of how progeny will perform and impact on farm profitability.
“We’re often told by commercial farmers that ram buying is getting more complicated. It can be difficult juggling lots of figures for a range of traits on sale day, especially with the addition of new traits as science emerges.”
Sarah says nProve has been designed to simplify ram selection and empower farmers to have valuable conversations with their ram breeders.
“The breeder is best placed to understand your needs and match you to animals that fit your purpose. Take the time to discuss your operating environment, challenges and objectives so they can help you achieve progress in the areas you want.”
She says while figures play a large part in the ram buying process, structure and soundness should not be forgotten.
“There is a balance. No matter how good a ram’s data is, if he can’t serve a ewe then he can’t pass on all the genetic potential you’re investing in.”
Once home, rams should be settled in well and maintained in the best condition ready to work.
“They are one of your farm’s best assets. Look after them so they can do their best for you.”
For more information go to https://nprove.nz/#/home