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Atlas On Top

06-12-2007 | webmaster

There's been a reshuffle of the breeding values for 12-month weights achieved by progeny of top stags, with long-time champ Kabul now down a couple of pegs.
The top stag in the listing, redone earlier this week by DEERSelect manager Jason Archer of AgResearch Invermay, is Atlas, a stag bred by Graham Carr of Peel Forest. Atlas, born in 2003, registered a BV of 23.2.
He's a bit of a surprise as he didn't appear at all in the October listing. His first recorded progeny were born in 2006, but there's already sufficient data for the result to have good accuracy, Jason says. "Genetic improvement is all about finding the stags that improve on the previous generation, so it is exciting to see new young stags coming through with good figures."
Now second is Maximilian, an Eastern stag bred by Clive Jermy of Stanfield's Bushey Park, with a BV of 21.2, who is in fact Atlas's sire.
Kabul, owned by Black Forest Park and at the top since at least December 2005, is now third with a BV of 20.9.
Graham says they've just started using Atlas as a sire stag at Peel Forest. His dam is "German with a bit of English in him", a daughter of Nelson: "a stag who was always good for growth rates".
Interestingly, eight herds have bred the top 20 - with Stanfield Eastern, Peel Forest, Black Forest, Canterbury Imported Red Deer each accounting for two or more. Those same eight herds along with one further herd "Bennett" then account for the next 26 top stags by order.
The Wilkins family of Southland must be pleased with their buys.
"Anyone else can do the same if they make good use of information when buying stags, and are focussed on what they are purchasing the stag for (i.e. not getting distracted by other attributes with little relevance to their own operation)," comments Jason Archer. "I wouldn't necessarily recommend that every commercial farmer goes out and progeny tests their latest stag purchase, but it does demonstrate that there are some very good stags being produced - the trick is in identifying them!"
For further information, see the website: www.deeresearch.org.nz/

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