Beltex remain involved in RamCompare – winter update 2018
RamCompare is a major industry sheep breeding initiative and the first commercial progeny test in the UK for terminal sire rams. In the first three seasons over 6,600 ewes were mated to 138 leading rams and updated results incorporating 2108 born lambs will be released in April 2019.
Data collected throughout the supply chain has led to new approaches in assessing the performance of pedigree animals and new estimated breeding values (EBVs) have been developed. Carcase traits including carcase weight, carcase confirmation and carcase fat class EBVs were released last year.
The updated results will incorporate over 12,000 lamb records and new breeding values for primal yield and shear force (tenderness) will be included bringing leading flocks into the spotlight. Breeders will be able to use these EBVs to market their rams in the future and commercial producers will be able to utilise these EBVs to select Signet recorded rams to produce progeny who will meet target specification.
2018 lambs produced – Beltex sired lambs were produced at two RamCompare farms this season. Two AI sires were supplied by Mary Dunlop for use at Bowhill Estate in Selkirk, Scotland with Aberfield cross ewes. In addition, Clary Number One was also used at Adrian Coombes, Dupath Farm located in Callington, Cornwall on North Country Mules, accompanying him at this farm was AI sire Dooley Sparky provided by Matt Prince. Data from these lambs has been included in the data analysis. Dooley Sparky has been used again this season at Rhys Edwards farm, Hendre Ifan Goch in South Wales.
Bowhill Estate Lambs at 12 weeks old Dupath Farm Lambs at 12 weeks old
Nominations open on Monday 7thJanuary 2019 and breeders can nominate their own rams/semen for selection. Closing 8thMarch, successful candidates will be confirmed in April. All performance recorded terminal sire breeds are eligible. Carcase and growth traits should be in the top 25 per cent of the breed.