Central Progeny Test

Contact Will Gibson if you would like further information about the fine-wool central progeny test.

What is the central progeny test?

NZM initiated the fine-wool central progeny test (CPT) in 2013 as part of the NZSTX project. The CPT allows breeders to benchmark fine-wool sheep genetics against other New Zealand and Australian studs using estimated breeding values (EBVs).

Each year, new fine-wool sires are mated across a group of Merino ewes and the performance of each sire's progeny is assessed in a common environment for a wide range of production and management traits. This performance data is added to the MERINO SELECT database managed by Sheep Genetics in Australia, and used to generate EBVs for each ram.

What is unique about this CPT is its contribution to research into the genetics of footrot. Through challenging the progeny at the CPT, we are adding to the FeetFirst database, generating a breeding value for footrot resistance and establishing the genetic correlations between footrot resistance and other important traits. 

Based on the current technology, an ongoing CPT remains essential for improving the accuracy of the footrot breeding value in the future. This is because EBVs rely on a portion of the population being evaluated for their performance each year.

More information about the FeetFirst project and the contribution of the CPT to the footrot breeding value can be found here.

What data is being collected?

We are measuring the performance of each sire group across a range of production, animal health and ease of care traits. See the table below for a summary of the traits being monitored each year: