Genetics is the key to profits with sheep
Sheep farmers can learn some profitable lessons from research in the dairy and beef sectors
The move towards the new much-touted 'post-quota' era has meant there has been plenty of attention lavished on the dairy sector in recent years.
Yet many of the Teagasc researchers at last weekend's Sheep2015 event Athenry were busy highlighting that much of the same research channelled towards improving the the dairy herd can also be adopted to deliver more profitability for the sheep sector.
Key areas such as genetics and grassland management, were centre-stage.
A prime attraction was the €80,000 New Zealand Suffolk and Texel flock imported to demonstrate the increased profitability driven by genetics in the Kiwi flock.
Elsewhere, Sheep Ireland, an offshoot of the ICBF, was highlighting the EuroStar statistics showing increased profitability from five star stock which have increased lambing ease and better kill out rates.
Teagasc genetics expert Donagh Berry says that genetics holds the key for sheep farmers looking to maximise the profitability of their flocks.
"The benefits are there already if you look at a five star verses a one star, on average you do see that the five star is better," he said.
However, he readily pointed out that the star system was in its relative infancy compared with dairying.