IMPROVING SHEEP FARMING PROFITS Open Day Northern Ireland 14th APRIL

Would you like to improve commercial lamb value by £3 a head, and if you are a pedigree breeder, increase ram value by up to £400 a head?

Cafre’s Dr Eileen McCloskey will be discussing how to at a PROFIT FROM SHEEP FARMING open day to be staged at Mossbank Farm, Ballycreelly Road, Comber BT23 5PX on Saturday 14 April 13.00 to 17.00.

It’s all about performance recording, she says. “There’s nothing new about this tool however there is massive untapped potential for NI pedigree breeders and commercial producers to work together and use it to improve their flocks, and in turn enhance stock sales – the only element of their income they can truly influence.

“In fact as few as 5% of rams working in Northern Ireland flocks are performance recorded, consequently the sheep sector is missing out on over £5 million in improved lamb value.

“For pedigree breeders, rams with high EBVs can achieve between £300 to £400 premiums at ram sales, whilst those rams can leave higher value lambs - a £3 per lamb increase is often reported in trials, a figure worth over £800 over a ram’s working lifetime.”

Host farmer, Kevin McCarthy will discuss the gains made from performance recording his 50 ewe pedigree Hampshire Down flock for 30 years. It currently features within the breed’s top 10%.

“Performance recording is both permanent and cumulative,” he explains. “For example, my ram lambs born last year recorded a scan weight of 6.97kg, that’s 5.85kg heavier than in 2000. Half of this gain – 2.92kg will be passed on to his progeny consequently at £1.80 per kg, that extra gain could be worth as much as £5.27 per lamb. On the other hand, it’s not just about weight of lamb sold, this gain is expressed in terms of reduced days to slaughter weight.

The event will also feature the following presentations

Maximising returns from grass this season – monitoring growth, quality and utilisation: Afbi’s Dr Aurelie Aubry

Maximising farm labour efficiency including the use of adequate and safe handling facilities: Dr McCloskey

Improving efficiency with sheep EID technology: Dr McCloskey and TGM’s George Megarry

Meeting processors expectations: Dunbia’s George Williamson

Scanner, William Tait will demonstrate ultra sound scanning.

Furthur information from Kevin McCarthy on 07785 325028.

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