Welcome to www.perfectsheep.co.nz

Latest updates from The New Zealand Merino Company's production science team


Join us in Omarama on Tuesday 25 October 2016 for the NZM Open Day and AGM

The Open Day will include updates on:

  • NZM's future focus and strategy
  • NZSTX outputs across fibre, meat and production science
  • Brand partner perspectives: Francesco Botto Poala (Reda) & Nicola Simpson (Icebreaker)
  • SILERE and the new partnership with Alliance
  • NZM's Board of Directors
  • The Merino central progeny test 

Click here for more details.

Investigation into the effectiveness of the Lincoln footrot gene marker test

As part of the FeetFirst project (which is co-funded by NZM, Merino Inc and the Ministry for Primary Industries through NZSTX) we have undertaken an evaluation of the Lincoln footrot gene marker test (LFGMT) in collaboration with AGBU and AgResearch.  

A summary of the results can be found here. In this document, the relationship between the LFGMT and the incidence and severity of footrot in rams and their progeny is explored. 

The positive news for the industry is that the wider FeetFirst project is showing that there is exploitable genetic variation in the resistance of fine-wool sheep to footrot in the New Zealand sheep population. By shifting the focus from a gene marker test to a breeding value, the New Zealand fine-wool industry will soon have a more accurate tool to successfully breed for increasing tolerance to footrot. For more information, contact Dr Mark Ferguson.

Emerging talent award

Will Gibson, NZM's Area Manager for Canterbury and manager of the fine-wool central progeny test (CPT), won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Sheep Industry Emerging Talent Award at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards in Masterton on 6 July.  Congratulations from all the NZM team Will!

Diagnosing and managing Johne's disease

Professor Richard Whittington (University of Sydney) recently visited New Zealand and joined a Red Meat Profit Partnership conference call to discuss the diagnosis, control and management of Johne's disease.  Visit the Johne's Disease page for a link to the podcast. 

New Zealand Grassland Association: Hill Country Symposium -  

The New Zealand Grassland Association's Hill Country Symposium held in Rotorua showcased research from across the industry, generating wide-ranging discussions about the future of hill country systems in New Zealand. Click here for the papers from the symposium. 

Lincoln University Foundation Farmer of the Year field day at Omarama Station - 

NZM's Production Science Manager Dr. Mark Ferguson recently spoke at the Lincoln University Foundation's South Island Farmer of the Year field day held at Omarama Station. Click here for an article from stuff.co.nz.

Livestock nutrition - 

San Jolly from Productive Nutrition in South Australia spoke with the Red Meat Profit Partnership in February to share her insights into how better livestock nutrition drives profitability. Click on the Nutrition page for a link to the talk.

Breed change success at Charles Hope -

Mark and Liz Hutton are really enjoying the transition to fine wool sheep at Charles Hope. Check out the video below to find out more. For more information about the transformation underway at Charles Hope, including a case study, go to the Our Growers page.


Let's unlock the potential of the ‘perfect sheep’ for your production system

At The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM), we understand that every property is unique and that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution. We want to help you find the 'perfect sheep' for your production system.

NZM's production science initiatives focus on four key principles:

  • Market-led production: Focus on what your production system can produce best, and produce it to your target market's specifications.
  • Breed well: Choose genetics that meet your breeding objective.
  • Feed well: Develop year-round forage systems to unlock the true potential of your sheep.
  • Keep them well: Optimise animal health and welfare through best-practice management.

On this website you will find the tools, along with exciting new developments, to help you get the most out of your sheep production system:

Click here to contact an NZM specialist today - we look forward to working with you.



  Page last updated 21 October 2016.