The TRIGG sire reference progeny testing group was formed in 1998 by six of the North Islands leading Romney breeders in an innovative partnership to offer the best genetics from their performance recorded rams.
Performance recording is a key component in the TRIGG group’s initiative to improve the genetic merit of its rams.
The breeding values of all rams are recording on Sheep Improvement Limited indexes, enabling the group members to compare their rams against each other, and against other breeders.
The TRIGG breeders say SIL-records are like a guarantee for commercial ram buyers.
"We can prove how our rams perform. By looking at the breeding value of the rams on offer our clients can see where they are likely to achieve genetic gain within their own flocks. They can select rams with high breeding values in a particularly area. For example, if a farmer wants to lift the fertility levels of his ewes or the eye muscle area of the progeny, he can select the ideal ram to achieve that."
TRIGG group says the days are gone when farmers selected rams on constitution alone. The future lies in what goes on under the wool and that can only be shown through the performance figures, they say.
By using breeding values the group can also calculate how much financial potential each ram offers to a commercial farmer. Economic values can be attached to each breeding value and multiplied to calculate how much more using a particular ram will return to the grower, compared to another ram.