How Sheep Ireland and the €uro-Stars are facing the future
It's that time of the year again when the minds of sheep farmers across the country turn to the breeding season.
Ram decisions have been made by most, so we just hope that our preparations in the run up to mating will pay off and that our lamb crop will be a good one.
The aim of flock owners each year should be to improve on the previous year as much as possible. There are so many areas that this progress can take place on the farm, but none more so than at breeding time.
Sheep Ireland's objective is to add value to the national sheep industry through improving the genetic makeup of our national flock.
We aim to achieve this by highlighting the rams with best genetic value and encouraging flock owners to use this information when making a ram purchasing decision.
It has been proven across all other agricultural sectors in this country (dairy, beef, equine, porcine) that bottom line profit can be boosted greatly through genetic improvement.
However, this genetic improvement movement has not taken hold of the Irish sheep industry to date. The question must be asked, why?
Potential genetic improvement is most effectively illustrated in economic terms; it is the amount of extra profit that a ram could add to each lamb he sires in any given year.