In the last decade Facial Eczema has been a major cause of production loss in locations previously rarely affected.
In response St Leger began cross breeding older MA Romney ewes to high FE tolerant Coopworth rams. Breeding firstly ½ then ¾ Coopworth X Romney rams. At risk clients are having excellent results with these rams.
The Coopworth sires purchased have a long history of selection for FE resilience testing at .6mg/kg. Initial sporidesmin testing at St leger was not at a high level due to the unkown status of our flock (at .25mg/kg) but was high enough to show that the animals tested had a significant level of protection.
With a view to the future, we are now sourcing outside Romney genetics from breeders with proven selection and testing for FE tolerance. 50K testing for FE tolerance in incoming sires will aid us selecting sires from St Leger Romney progeny with high FE genomic BV.