Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality

The derivation of economic values in breeding programs for Australian Merino sheep with changing wool prices and flock production averages

DJ Cottle

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 41(4) 769 - 780
Published: 1990


The impact of fluctuating wool prices on setting economic values (EVs) in selection indices, e.g. WOOLPLAN, are studied by modelling genetic change in a flock following index selection, Operating under different wool price regimes. Because future price changes are difficult to predict, there is no guaranteed, optimal method of determining EVs. One possibility is the use of a moving regression of the last five years' wool prices (in real terms), rather than setting the index once, or every five years, or every year, based on current prices. The ratio (R) of clean wool price to micron premium is more important than actual prices. It is suggested that the default EVs used currently in WOOLPLAN are appropriate for strong wool Merino flocks. The choice and implications of EVs in other situations are discussed.

© CSIRO 1990

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