Easy care, efficient self-replacing maternal prime lamb system was Kate Sevier’s vision in the 1990’s.
“It was uneconomical running 1st x ewes that had all sorts of problems.”
In Tamworth Arthur Godlee developed the Gromark in the 1960’s as a self-replacing prime lamb breed with all breeders required to record data and submit it to the meat sheep testing service (the forerunner to LAMBPLAN). No competitive showing was allowed.
Kate liked that the Gromark was objectively measured for fertility, mothering and milking ability and other important traits. She wanted control over genetic progress, productivity and biosecurity and established Yangoora Gromarks at Young an easy care self- replacing maternal prime lamb enterprise.
Every lamb has been weighed and tagged at birth for over 30 years for accurate pedigree of sire and dam and the lamb’s birth type, rear type and outcome. Birthweight is important for ease of lambing and lamb survival especially for twins.
Research has established that the selection of the best maternal genetics for your lamb production enterprise means considerably more $$$$ profit.
Two of her rams were selected for the Maternal Central Progeny Test run at Cowra and Rutherglen research sites and results gave a useful benchmark. Yangoora Gromark sired 2000 drop maternal ewes were 4th in profitability/DSE/year across all breeds that year (over 15 breeds).
Those ewes also bred lambs that were trait leaders for eye muscle. The Maternal Central Progeny Test program showed that productive maternal genetics could add up to $35 per ewe per year to the prime lamb flocks at the time (19 years ago).
Careful introduction of Elite Poll Dorset Genetics since the year 2002 gives the best results for the balance of traits for growth, fat and muscle for meat production This introduction led to changing the name to Gromark Genetics. Today, selection for meat eating quality traits is important.
While pursuing genetic progress there is a strong emphasis on conformation, structure and continued selection for crimped white wool. All sheep are assessed by an independent sheep classer Neville Mangelsdorf.
Although Gromark Genetics rams now generally have 75% Poll Dorset in the background they have a light forequarter and good neck extension and less large head than traditional terminal sires. Extreme growth has been avoided to keep a balance of traits for easy lambing quick early growth, moderate ewe size to rear twins beyond weaning.
The flock 070050 Yangoora is run on LAMBPLAN’S terminal dataset because of the linkages to Poll Dorset sires yet the breeding focus is for easy care self-replacing maternal prime lamb production.
When Gromark Genetic rams are joined to Merino ewes, they have easier lambing than the traditional terminals but have good carcase advantages, open faces, bare points, no pigmented fibre and minimal medulated fibre. Flystrike is rare. Sheep are only crutched , never mulesed or given chemical protection. They are able to withstand high rainfall as well as dusty dry conditions.
Ewes that can lamb early, easy lambing with good growth and carcase conformation and more lambs weaned are key areas for productivity. They are not seasonal breeders. Data is collected for specific traits to produce ASVB’s that are important for clients own enterprise The performances in these areas are supported by the LAMBPLAN ASBV’s shown in the catalogue.
Gromark Genetics rams developed as easy care performance recorded sheep with good growth, carcase and fertility, white crimped wool and easy lambing to suit a variety of prime lamb productions systems.
Certain rams are ideal to use:
1. Over Merino ewes to breed quick growing terminals with easy lambing and good carcase.
2. Over Merino ewes to breed superior high performing fertile prime lamb dams, a carcase focus and 23 micron wool.
3. Over first-x ewes to breed well muscled terminal prime lambs
4. Ideal for a productive self-replacing maternal prime lamb enterprise.
The wool on the Gromark Genetics Merion cross is 23 to 24 micron and returning around 900c per kg. These ewes are ideal as a superior prime lamb dam with good fertility, growth, fat and muscle distribution.
Breeders can use Merino ewes, First X ewes or Composites to build up their maternal self- replacing flock using Gromark Genetics rams. Gromark Genetics sheep the advantage of 30 years of genetic selection for fertility, lamb survival , carcase traits and wool quality important today.