Keeping data simply invaluable

A Billandri Poll Merino ewe with twins at Kendenup.
Camera IconA Billandri Poll Merino ewe with twins at Kendenup. Credit: Billandri

Kendenup-based Billandri Poll Merino stud principal Bill Sandilands, who founded the seedstock enterprise in 1961, has been recording performance data from that time.

“This work has evoked higher profitability for our clients, who rely on developing sustainable production enterprises, no matter the season,” he said.

“I am very supportive of Australian Wool Innovation’s Merino Lifetime Production project.”

The project aims to increase the understanding of the genetics, and economic interactions, across a diverse range of Merino types delivering high quality wool, lambs and meat through life.

“We are fortunate in having sires entered in both the 2016-drop and 2017-drop at the MLP Pingelly site,” he said.

“In the 2016-drop, Billandri 130641, has distinguished himself by being one of the trait leaders for Clean Fleece Weight while having finer than average Fibre Diameter.

“His F1 daughters, as maidens in 2019, weaned the highest weight of lambs (30.9kg) per ewe joined compared to the average of 26.5kg and again in the 2020, he was one of the trait leaders for this category.”

Mr Sandilands said in the 2017-drop at Pingelly, Billandri 151280, was selected by the management committee to represent diversity as a finer sire and had also recorded trait leading indexes for MP+ index, FP+ index and WP+ index.

“It is notable as well as being a trait leader for fineness he also is a trait leader for Clean Fleece Weight,” he said.

At Billandri, each year lambs in the ram breeding flock are tagged at birth in their first day, so a full pedigree can be recorded. Full pedigrees have been recorded for more than 30 years.

Birth type of the lambs is recorded so twins can be corrected for birth type and are not discriminated against, and ewes are scored for maternal ability.

Pregnancy scanning of the 1900 stud ewes indicated more than half of the lambs born were multiples.

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