Weekly Update: 28/10/16

CPT AI complete

The final day of AI took place this Tuesday on the farm of Brian Nicholson, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny. All in all, the AI programme went extremely well with 26 rams used for the purpose of progeny testing with 7 additional rams used for linkage establishment within some smaller breeds. In total just under 2,500 ewes have been AI’d and will lamb down in a very tight window next March.

2017 LambPlus sign-up forms

Attention now turns to the next season of LambPlus. We plan to send out sign-up forms to all pedigree ram breeders in the coming days. The fee structure for LambPlus has been under discussion at Sheep Ireland board level for a number of months and a decision has been made with regard to the fees for the 2017 season and beyond.

The fee structure that will apply will be as follows;

  • €50 for breeders that are members of flockbooks who host their flockbooks on the Sheep Ireland database.
  • €100 for breeders that are members of flockbooks that do not use the Sheep Ireland database to host their flockbooks.

The reasoning behind this split fee structure is due to additional administration costs associated with providing genetic evaluations to sheep breeds that do not operate their flockbook on the Sheep Ireland database. The extra administration is mainly caused by the need to key ancestry information for animals. Ancestry information is the foundation block for accurate genetic evaluations and when the flockbook is not hosted on the Sheep Ireland database, it is necessary to manually key the ancestry information for each individual animal, which takes a considerable amount of time

This change in fee structure will be communicated to all LambPlus breeders by letter along with the 2017 LambPlus sign-up form.

Regional Sheep Ireland meetings

For the past number of years, Sheep Ireland have hosted regional LambPlus meetings at various locations around the country each November. These meetings were generally held in hotels and while we feel breeders found them beneficial, we also feel that the format was failing to attract enough LambPlus participants. In 2016 we organised a number of farm workshops/events which were more interactive and practical than the hotel room setting. In lieu of the fact that we held these workshops this summer, we will not be holding regional meetings this November. We hope to hold an industry meeting in mid-January. All LambPlus breeders will be invited to attend this meeting.