Hazeldean Hugh has retained his standing as Australia’s number one performance ram when it comes to Merino Superior Sires and Sheep Genetics Australia.
"Hugh" is ranked number one for every index in the all time Top 50 sires from 1989 to 2017 and is also number one in the current top 50 sires for every index.
Merino Superior Sires combines the site results collected from 11 sire evaluation sites and sire entrants from across the major wool producing areas of Australia.
Results are reported as Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) and indexes enabling the comparison of sires across sites and across years.
Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association Chairman, Jock McLaren, said the profile of sire evaluation has risen in the past 12 months with the momentum of standard sire evaluation progressing through to the Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project.
“This year has included successful field days held across many sites and industry significant reports produced,” Mr McLaren said.
“There is now more focus on sire evaluation than ever before.”
The latest Merino Superior Sires report puts Hazledean Hugh at the top of the Merino industry for sires ranked on dual purpose index (DP+), Merino production plus index (MP+), fibre production plus index (FP+) and wool production plus index (WP+).
Hazeldean co-principal Bea Litchfield said when selecting young rams at Hazeldean, all rams go through a fibre and performance test as well as wool weight and body weight.
From there they pick out the highest performing rams which are then joined to 100 ewes after which their offspring are progeny tested.
“The really special thing about Hugh is he has been able to pass on his genetic superiority to his progeny,” Ms Litchfield said.
“He came up through as an individual, but all his progeny tested really well too, which lifted his figures even higher.
“We then used him in our AI program early on and have continued to for the last four years.”
Ms Litchfield said the 2011-drop ram is already having a huge impact across the industry with semen used in many leading studs and flocks.
Hugh has a current total progeny of 4096 across 19 flocks.
Ms Litchfield said Hazeldean’s main breeding objective is to produce seed stock that are profitable for the wool industry.
“We also place a lot of importance on the structure, they have to be very sound for longevity,” she said.
For the top 50 sires for each major index visit merinosuperiorsires.com.au