Covid-19 Update – Scanning for Recorded Flock

Update for Signet Sheep Clients – Scanning and Online Services

Given the latest government and public health advice I am writing to Signet sheep clients to inform them that Signet has decided to suspend the provision of on-farm ultrasound scanning services until further notice.

This isn’t a decision taken lightly – particularly as we approach peak Hampshire Down scanning season – but the technicians and I are becoming increasingly concerned about the risk posed to clients by our presence on farms and felt this was the most appropriate action to take, as well as safeguarding technician health and that of their families.

This decision applies to AHDB staff in England and Wales; freelance staff in Scotland and Northern Ireland will make their own assessment and decisions.

What to do in the absence of scanning?

We have been here before with the challenge of Foot and Mouth Disease. We know robust EBVs can still be produced in the absence of muscle/fat data – particularly for flocks that have scanned in previous seasons. In the absence of muscle and fat data please weigh your lambs to obtain a scan weight at an appropriate time (18-22 weeks of age would be fine, go slightly earlier if you are drawing lambs and your lambs are well grown) and send in these weights for inclusion in the analysis. Remember to record any separate management groups and the weigh date.

You can submit weights in three ways:

  • Online – Once you are logged in to the new Signet database www.signetdata.com, the screen for recording weights includes an option to submit scan weights  If you want to print your own weighsheet to take into the field you can do this too
  • Via email – ideally in a spreadsheet or an output from on-farm software – failing that, type them into the body of the email and we will sort it
  • Posted in – although, since the office fire in January our post is taking time to reach staff members working from home. If you have a phone with a camera or a scanner in your office, you could consider capturing the information you need entering this way and send it across to us via email

The basic message from Signet is however you are able to supply your data, we are here to help – so if in doubt drop an email to Signet@ahdb.org.uk

How else can we help?

We don’t know what the season will bring, when it comes to ram sales. However it might be worth bearing in mind we have recently launched:

  • Flock Finder – Which shows the nearest recorded flocks
  • Sheep for Sale – Which shows animals that members wish to list for sale. The Centurion Ram Sale entries are currently on there, please have a look
  • Client cataloguing functions – So clients can create and distribute their own catalogues – either by post or email.

All of these services were being developed with the current ram sale season in mind, but now may have a more immediate value.

Finding information

Signet were already finding it harder to get paper reports to clients following the office fire and in recent weeks we have been sending out PDF’s for clients to review. These have been well received to date. We know clients are also accessing the web to get electronic copies of their data from the EBV Search or Electronic Flock Report

In fact there are over 25 new reports and search tools available to clients – most of which you can read about in this news article.

Please take care of yourselves and let us know (via Signet@ahdb.org.uk) if you need any assistance to access the online services and data that you need.

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