The time has come around again for Sheep Ireland to start selecting rams for use in the CPT program for the 2020/2021 breeding season. The CPT is a critical element of the National Sheep Breed Improvement program and is a huge source of commercial data for Sheep Ireland each year.
What are we looking for?
Sheep Ireland are seeking the most influential rams from each breed to be involved in the program, as this will deliver the most benefit for the Irish Sheep Industry in years to come. These rams may be selected for use in the RamPlus program in the future, so it is essential that they would be attractive for other pedigree breeders to use. The rams need to meet certain criteria in order to be used in the CPT. The ram needs to be a 5 Star on the replacement index with relatively good accuracy. He needs to be from a flock that has a high DQI. Even though the criteria are high, all rams that are nominated will be considered.
What are the benefits of putting a ram into the CPT?
There are a number of benefits of putting a ram into the CPT. If a breeder puts forward their ram into the CPT, it means that their flock will be genetically linked to the central hub for the next three years. Maintaining linkage is extremely important, as it allows Sheep Ireland to produce the most accurate evaluation as possible for both the pedigree breeder and commercial farmers who buy the rams. The accuracy of the lambs sired by a CPT Sire will increase greatly, as there is much more data included in the evaluations of the lambs. Rams that are used in CPT are highlighted in Sheep Ireland catalogues that are used at the majority of pedigree ram sales up and down the country. More and more commercial farmers are looking for rams bred by CPT Sires as they know that they can place more trust in the evaluations. Any breeder who submits a ram for use in CPT will also get a cert to say that a ram from their flock was used in CPT, which they can display on the pens of their rams at sales.
As well as all in benefits for the breeder, the CPT holds huge benefits for the Sheep Industry as a whole, as its aids Sheep Ireland in identifying the most profitable genetics in the country.
How do I put my Ram forward for the CPT?
If you are interested in putting your ram forward for the CPT, or if you want to know more about what’s involved, please call the Sheep Ireland office on 023 882 0451, or send an email to [email protected].