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?

In 2013, NZM initiated the fine-wool CPT as part of the NZSTX project.  The CPT is managed by NZM and provides a platform to benchmark fine-wool sheep genetics in New Zealand. In doing so, it makes it possible to quote estimated breeding values (EBVs) on fine-wool rams from across the New Zealand industry.

Each year, new fine-wool sires are mated across a group of Merino ewes and the performance of each sire's progeny group 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 male progeny at the CPT (while keeping the female progeny footrot-free), 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. An ongoing CPT is essential for developing and maintaining the accuracy of the footrot breeding value, which relies on a portion of the population being challenged and scored for footrot each year. More information about the FeetFirst project and the contribution of the CPT 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: