Farmer using digital technology for his sheep

Farmer using tablet device whilst checking sheep

Farmers and breeders are embracing RamSelect Plus


Success from riding on the sheep’s back all depends on picking the right animal and an industry-first innovation from the CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) is combining digital technology with DNA testing to ensure the right choices are made.

Funded under the Australian Government’s CRC Program, the Sheep CRC recently released RamSelect Plus, an enhanced version of its popular web-based genetic selection app.

RamSelect Plus takes the guess work out of selecting rams with the exact genetics which match the breeder’s purpose – whether that be wool production, meat eating quality or a range of other factors which impact the profitability of a flock.

Farmers can compare sheep from right across Australia via an intuitive and easy-to-use platform, with RamSelect Plus using plain English terminology for the traits that make a difference.

The success of RamSelect Plus can be best gauged by the fact sheep breeders are embracing it in droves. About 14,000 rams from 180 studs were listed on the website in the first five months.

Ram breeders have responded to the demand for this objective information by listing their rams and their sale catalogues. The industry has really embraced this innovative tool as a powerful and accurate source of information for selecting the best genetics for their breeding objectives.

Professor James Roew, Chief Executive, Sheep CRC

And thanks to the range of DNA tests the Sheep CRC has developed, breeders can now identify which rams carry key genetic traits such as superior meat eating quality.

Having long been paid on weight and fat cover, this innovation has the potential to change the sheep meat industry so that producers can be rewarded for delivering superior eating quality by selecting for traits such as growth, tenderness and intramuscular fat.

RamSelect Plus also features innovative benchmarking and monitoring tools, such as the Ram Team Manager and Flock Profiler, which allow farmers to ensure their rams are carrying the right combination of genes to support the business’s key profit drivers.

The Sheep CRC’s next app project will be to develop a tool to provide local alerts across Australia on risks to sheep wellbeing such as flystrike, parasites and extreme weather events like cold stress during lambing or after shearing.

Apps and online tools are seen by the Sheep CRC as the most cost effective method of delivering new knowledge and best practice management tools to the industry.

The Sheep CRC will have received $68.8 million in Commonwealth funding and over $259 million in industry support (cash and in-kind contributions) between its first iteration in 2007 and its current funding period ending in 2019.

RamSelect Plus is available on laptop, mobile and tablet at www.ramselect.com.au and was developed by the CRC in collaboration with Telstra, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Pivotal Labs.

Download the CRC for Sheep Industry