LambPlus breeder numbers on the rise
Drive is also on for increased usage of high index, high accuracy rams
The number of breeders signed up to LambPlus continues to rise and now stands at 600, according to Sheep Ireland's Eamon Wall.
Sheep Ireland is now recording more key traits for the flocks, including health information on top of the usual growth traits.
"This year we also have carcase data from the central progeny test (CPT) flocks," he said, adding they agreed with breeders that it was long overdue.
He also unveiled a pilot project for later this year which is designed to get more breeders using the high index, high accuracy CPT rams.
"A lot of breeders have submitted rams to the CPT programme over the years. We've got loads of commercial data on the rams and increased their accuracy, they're high index rams. Unfortunately they go back to the breeders and maybe don't get the widespread use we'd like them to get," he said, adding they would also use the LambPlus sale on August 27 in Tullamore to promote the message to commercial farmers.
"On the beef side of things there is GeneIreland and test bulls and farmers are used to using these young bulls and testing the best genetics. That is something we want to try and stimulate on the sheep side."
Mr Wall said it was a pity there was no EuroStar element in the new knowledge transfer programme but they were hopeful there would be a push for genetic improvement in future schemes.
He said the data quality index, a simple rating, would be published in sale catalogues this year for those breeders who had participated in the pilot projects.