News > News Archive > SIL service continues, with changes


SIL service continues, with changes

17/12/2009

SIL has made changes to how it operates in the wake of the loss of Wool Levy income,  

Meat & Wool New Zealand has needed to make some significant changes to projects and activities as a result of the loss of the wool levy. This has had an immediate impact on SIL as we seek to maintain our core services. I would like to give you a brief summary of where some changes will be made.
 
Importantly, it is business as usual for SIL genetic evaluations. SIL will maintain current capability of the database and genetic evaluation systems. Wool traits will continue to be available as part of genetic evaluations.
 
Currently SIL is focusing on completing the development and testing of on-line software tools that will allow
  • commercial farmers to look for flocks from which they can buy rams 
  • breeders to look for individual animals with the balance of genetic merit they want for their breeding programmes
 
For these on-line selection tools to function effectively, all data in the SIL-ACE database must be reportable. SIL intends changing the arrangement with participating breeders from one where SIL could report on trait leaders only, to one where any animal can be reported on. Notification of this will occur in the next SIL newsletter.
 
We are increasing SIL (wholesale) charges to bureaus by 20%. This recovers nowhere near the amount lost from the wool levy income stream. We have informed bureaus of these changes. Note that these are the wholesale charges made to SIL bureaus. Charges made for SIL flock activity by bureaus to their ram breeder clients may change less or more than this percentage.
 
SIL has had to cut back the SIL Adviser service. The SIL Technical Adviser and three part-time SIL Adviser positions have been lost. The obvious implication is that there will be a limited service to support breeder queries. SIL breeders will be advised that their bureau is the first port of call for queries. The 0800-silhelp telephone number will not be regularly monitored for SIL queries - instead a recorded message will be played advising on who to ring for assistance. The silhelp email address (silhelp@sheepimprovement.co.nz) will be checked but less frequently than is now the case.
 
Dr Mark Young
SIL Geneticist
Meat & Wool New Zealand