Extension and Ag Research News


Dakota Fall Ram Test to Start at NDSU Hettinger Research Extension Center

The Dakota Fall Ram Test is one of three Rambouillet Ram Tests in the nation that provide producers the opportunity to measure both performance and wool traits.

The 2009 Dakota Fall Ram Test will be held at North Dakota State University’s Hettinger Research Extension Center.

The cost is $200 per ram, with $25 due when the animal is entered in the performance test and the balance due when the animal is delivered to the center. The fee will cover the cost of feed, management, veterinary attention and wool testing. Test officials will sell the wool collected from the two shearings to cover the shearing costs.

Rams must be delivered to the center between Sept. 10 and 28.

“The Dakota Fall Ram Test is one of three Rambouillet Ram Tests in the nation that provide progressive producers the opportunity to measure both performance and wool traits, aiding in the selection of high-performing rams for use in breeding programs,” says Christopher Schauer, Hettinger center director.

All rams must be accompanied by a completed test entry form and health papers, and must come from a foot rot- and scrapie-free flock. Lambs more than 6 months old at the start of the test also must be tested for Brucella ovis (ELISA) or originate from a certified B. Ovis-free flock. Each animal must have a federal identification tag in one of its ear and the tag information must be listed in the animal’s health papers.

The rams will be vaccinated against enterotoxemia and sore mouth and drenched for internal parasites shortly after they arrive at the center. The rams’ owners should indicate on their entry form if the animals have been vaccinated against those diseases or drenched. The rams will be tested for B. Ovis at the end of the performance test.

The rams will undergo their first shearing Oct. 1 and be weighed and started on the test Oct. 5. They’re scheduled to be weighed Nov. 2 and 30, Dec. 28, and Jan. 25, although the actual dates may vary. Test personnel will take wool samples in early February. The samples will be used to determine staple length, clean yield and fiber diameter.

The animals will be shorn again Feb. 23 and given an ultrasound on March 12. Owners may pick up their animals March 13.

Schauer and Dave Pearson, an agricultural research technician at the Hettinger center, will be the test managers.

Sept. 28 is the deadline to enter animals in the test. Checks should be made payable to HREC-Dakota Fall Ram Test. The check writer must include his or her birth date on the memo line of the check. Mail checks to Christopher Schauer, Hettinger Research Extension Center, 2009 Dakota Fall Ram Test, P.O. Box 1377, Hettinger, ND 58639. Schauer also can be contacted for an entry packet at (701) 567-4323 or christopher.schauer@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Christopher Schauer, (701) 567-4323, christopher.schauer@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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