Last update: November 19, 2010 11:49:17 AM E-mail Print


Influence of performance data on the price of rams at the Grootfontein ram Auction


W.J. Olivier1, M.A. Snyman1 and A.C. van Graan2


1Grootfontein ADI, P/Bag X529, Middelburg (EC), 5900

2ARC:LBD (Animal Production), P/Bag X529, Middelburg (EC), 5900

Corresponding author:  Willem Olivier


Performance testing has gained a lot of ground during the last few years among ram breeders of various breeds. Some breeders’ societies recently made it compulsory for their members to take part in performance testing. However, many breeders still question the value of performance testing, especially with its regard to influence the price of rams. The purpose of this study was therefore to quantify the effect of performance data on the price of rams at the Grootfontein ram auction. The data of the Grootfontein Merino stud (GMS), Cradock fine wool Merino stud (CMS) and the Carnarvon Afrino stud (CAS) were used for this study. The factors that were tested included indices and estimated breeding values (EBV) for weaning weight (only CAS), body weight, clean fleece weight and fibre diameter. The following non performance testing factors were also included, year of auction, birth status, wool price of the wool auction just prior to each ram auction and the wool market indicator of the previous season.  The data were analysed with a stepwise regression procedure to determine the factors that were most important in determining the price of rams. The indices for fibre diameter (b=-295.85; R2=0.07) and body weight (b=147.77; R2=0.03) and year (b=397.11; R2=0.04) were the most important factors for the CMS rams. For GMS rams none of the performance traits had a significant effect on the price of rams. The EBV for fibre diameter (b=-543.00; R2=0.11) and the indices for clean fleece weight (b=1768.42; R2=0.09), weaning weight (b=19.58; R2=0.08) and body weight (b=50.45; R2=0.03) were the most important factors determining the CAS ram prices. It is evident from the results of this study that performance data played a major role when breeding sires were bought from the CMS and CAS. The fact that performance data was not important in the GMS can possibly be ascribed to the fact these rams are more commonly used as flock sires, while CMS and CAS rams are predominately used as breeding sires.