LambPlus Participation 2016
The number of pedigree ram breeders that have signed up to the LambPlus recording programme for the 2016 season has once again increased albeit at a much slower rate than that witnessed in previous years. It is critically important for Sheep Ireland that we retain these breeders within the programme from this point forward. It is unlikely that the number of breeders participating in LambPlus will increase substantially in the coming years as the majority of breeders are now involved. While this is great, it means that the scope for generating larger volumes of data is limited, and we must generate data from other sources.
When we use the term ‘Pedigree ram breeder’ we are speaking about breeders that are members of recognised sheep breed societies. Of course there are many other ram breeders around Ireland that are not members of any breed society and these are supplying a large proportion of the rams required by the industry annually. These breeders are generally not recording any parentage data on their sheep so as a result cannot be a source of useable data for the €uro-Star evaluations.
Of course ram breeders are not the only breeders providing data, commercial farm data is equally as valuable to the Sheep Ireland €uro-Star evaluations. Collecting more and more commercial data will have to be a major focus for Sheep Ireland if there is any chance of generating high accuracy genetic evaluations for Irish sheep farmers.dept