High sheep EBVs improve health of flocks and returns for farmers
The majority of farmers now value performance figures when they purchase rams, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.
“There is a clear demand at auction for high Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) performance recorded rams, which demonstrates that purchasers appreciate the financial benefits that can result,” said Dewi Hughes, HCC’s Project Executive.
There has been a big increase in the number of performance recorded sheep for sale, with EBVs available for 69 per cent of those sold at the recent Premier Charollais sale at Worcester.
At that sale the top 10 per cent ram lambs achieved an average price of £1,680, compared with £1,045 for an average ram lamb.
“Over the last three years HCC has provided funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales for 36,535 lambs to be performance recorded, with the target of hitting 50,000 by the end of 2013,” said Mr Hughes.
“HCC has also funded the artificial insemination (AI) of 5,065 pedigree ewes with semen from high performance rams and a further 1,548 embryos have been implanted.
“This has significantly helped fast track the individual flocks that have participated in the project and further develop the breeding improvements made in the Welsh flock.”
Mr Hughes said these figures, together with the enthusiastic reception to HCC’s Elite Ram Project (ERP), showed that Welsh farmers were keen to embrace developments that would improve the quality of their flocks.
“HCC expected about 1,000 farmers to undergo our training programme on how to select rams based on performance figures. By the end of the three year project more than 2,400 had taken part which demonstrates that farmers understand the return on their investment by selecting rams with superior genetics.”Back to news listing