AlpacaGram 7.30 | Fiber Testing Update

Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

AlpacaGram 7.30
AlpacaGram 7.30April 6, 2020

AOA Board Continues Search for Fiber Testing Vendor

It is shearing season and that comes with more than cultivating your alpaca fiber.

It is vitally important for the AOA Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) program that you continue to collect fiber samples for analysis as we await the announcement of a new lab to take over where Yocom-McColl left off. Fleece samples need to be 4"x4", taken from the mid-side of the alpaca, and cut at the base of the staple near the skin. Samples can be labeled and stored in gallon-sized freezer bags until the time a lab is selected.

The AOA Board is currently speaking with three fiber testing vendors to take on the work performed by Yocom-McColl for fiber analysis for the AOA EPD program. It is critical for the success and value of the EPD program that fiber analysis is done by a laboratory that performs with rigorous laboratory practices.

Many of you may know that Angus McColl is a highly esteemed fiber expert around the world and his lab was considered a gold standard for analyzing natural fibers. His equipment is on its way to a global company with fiber analysis headquarters in New Zealand. We have had extensive discussions with this lab’s Director and his staff.

We are also speaking with fiber analysis labs in Australia and the United States.

We know that engaging with a lab in the U.S. is preferable. However, it is most important to engage with a lab that is able to process alpaca fiber samples for the EPD program under our criteria.

Samples were sent to the lab here in the U.S. for testing and correlation analysis with the work Yocom-McColl did on these same samples. Test samples will be sent to the other labs in consideration as soon as they are back up and able to accept our samples. These labs are shut down for about four weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this time we are exploring the costs, shipping, and fiber quarantine laws associated with using a lab offshore.

Thank you for your patience and for participating in the AOA EPD program. We will update you as we gain more information.

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