A progeny test is used to benchmark the performance of a ram by comparing how his progeny perform under the same environmental conditions relative to progeny from other rams. In this way, rams can be compared across different flocks through as these reference sires create genetic connections between flocks.
Running a progeny test at one location – a “central progeny test” (CPT) – facilitates comparisons of rams that would not normally be made in industry. It is also an opportunity to use provide a practical resource for genetic research development.
The linkages created by the B+LNZ Genetics CPT underpin NZGE – the weekly large-scale across-flock and across-breed evaluation.
Changes to the Central Progeny Test
More rams, younger age, more commercially relevant environments and partnership with industry.
The B+LNZ Genetics CPT was launched in 2002 and ran across three lowland sites.
In 2013, the test added a comparison of performance on two hill sites, compared to the existing lowland sites. The same year, it also added a “genetics by environment” element, by testing the rams’ progeny generated in different environments in the same year. Progeny were produced through Artificial Insemination (AI), with reference rams used between years and between sites to provide benchmarks for ranking rams.
In 2016, the test’s focus was adjusted further towards more commercial hill country environments (where most of New Zealand’s sheep flock are now farmed) and – in partnership with industry – “Next Generation” flocks were introduced.
These 2016 changes allowed:
- Testing of more rams of a younger age
- Rams of high genetic merit to be identified in time to be used more widely, while still alive
- The test to be carried out under more commercially-relevant environments, and
- Partnership with industry.
Breed versus ram comparison
The CPT was not set up as a “breed comparison”, but rather as a “ram comparison”. It has focused on what are considered to be better genetics. Breed comparisons require testing of many sires per breed, selected at random from within each breed, and with fewer progeny per sire. The CPT has used a small number of sires with more progeny per sire, from as many breeds as possible to improve genetic linkage within the New Zealand Sheep Industry.
- 13th - 2014/2015 CPT Results booklet
- 12th - 2013/2014 CPT Results booklet
- 11th - 2012/2013 CPT Results booklet
- 10th - 2011/2012 CPT Results booklet
- 9th - 2010/2011 CPT Results booklet
- 8th - 2009/2010 CPT Results booklet
- 7th - 2008/2009 CPT Results booklet
- 6th - 2007/2008 CPT Results booklet
- 5th - 2006/2007 CPT Results booklet
- 4th - 2005/2006 CPT Results booklet
- 3rd - 2004/2005 CPT Results booklet
- 2nd - 2003/2004 CPT Results booklet
- 1st - 2002/2003 CPT Results booklet