Inquiry for rams through RamSelect has never been stronger with a dramatic increase in the number of buyers searching the site so far in the 2017 ram-selling season compared to in 2016.
More than 1129 ram searches were conducted on RamSelect during July 2016, compared to just 154 at the same time in 2016.
And the power of RamSelect as a marketing tool has also been recognised by ram breeders with 2133 rams currently listed on the site, 300 more than this time in 2016.
“Given how early we are in the ram-selling season, these numbers really show how valuable RamSelect has become to sheep breeders in both buying and selling rams,” Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe said.
“It is particularly encouraging to see the huge spike in ram searches which shows that more and more ram buyers are recognising the value of RamSelect for identifying rams suited to their individual breeding objectives and operating environments.”
RamSelect is an easy to use web-based application which allows ram buyers to find and rank rams based on Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) that match their own breeding objective.
First released in 2015 by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC), RamSelect has been embraced by industry with more than 15,000 rams from 186 stud catalogues listed in its first year, jumping to 17,600 from 224 catalogues in 2016. Ram buyers conducted more than 6300 ram searches during the 2016 ram sale season, and the volume of rams listed in 2016 equated to approximately 10% of the national ram market.
The Sheep CRC recently announced it was developing a cost-recovery model to support the continued delivery of RamSelect to put it on a secure financial footing for a long life after the CRC comes to an end in 2019.
From the end of August 2017 ram breeders who list their catalogues for sale will be required to pay $3.50/ram to advertise their animals on the site for a period of three months.
“We believe this represents good value for money for ram breeders compared to other methods of advertising, particularly in light of the latest figures which show an ever-increasing market of ram buyers using the site,” Prof. Rowe said.
For a catalogue of 100 rams the charge equates to $350 for constant exposure over a three-month period. There are no charges for ram buyers conducting on-line searches of catalogues listed on RamSelect site and users will also be able to print lists of rams which meet their breeding objectives.
Users who wish to save their breeding objective, together with a sale list and their ram team information or genomic profiling information, will be required to become a registered user at a cost of just $25 per year.
Source: CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation