Highest Achieving LambPlus Flock 2020 – Overall Winner – Maria Philpott, Duhallow Charollais
The Duhallow Charollais flock (C62) has been announced as the overall winner of the highest achieving LambPlus flock fighting off stiff competition from Tim Keady’s Oltore Belclare flock and David O’Gorman’s Carrowbaun Charollais flock. This award is special for owners Maria and John as they were nominated for the most improved flock in 2019 so to progress onto winning the highest achieving flock in 2020 is a huge achievement. The Duhallow flock was established in 2006 near Kanturk, Co. Cork and has been a member of the LambPlus programme since 2009.
Great care is taken around all breeding decisions with the physical characteristics of the animal taking preference followed closely by €uro-Stars. The focus in this flock is to breed rams that will perform well in a commercial flock so traits such as mothering ability and lamb vigour are carefully recorded with replacements only kept from top performing ewes.
The careful selection of animals with high genetic merit has resulted in the 2020 lambs having an average €uro-Star value of €2.98 (€2.22 in 2019) on the Replacement index and €2.15 (€1.19 in 2019) on the Terminal index. Data recording has improved over the past few years special efforts to upload data in a timely fashion resulting in the flock DQI being a very impressive 93%. The improved data collection and inclusion of stock rams in the CPT have both helped to achieve a flock average index accuracy of 48%. The careful selection of breeding females over many years combined with the purchase of top-quality stock rams will both help to ensure the success of the Duhallow flock for many years to come. The overall winner of the highest achieving flock received an engraved trophy, a framed certificate, and a cheque for €1,000. The two other finalists each received a framed certificate and a cheque for €500.
Most improved LambPlus flock 2020 – Overall Winner – Enda Turley – Newbridge Texels
The Newbridge Texel flock (QYI) has been announced as the overall winner of the most improved LambPlus flock for 2020 with the two other nominees being Martin Murphy’s Montybally Texel flock and the Kilbride Vendeen flock owned by Neil and Ann Ford. The Newbridge flock was established in 1999 and has been a member of LambPlus since the programme’s introduction in 2009. Enda uses the €uro-Star indexes to help him select breeding animals and he feels there is a growing demand for 4- and 5-star animals, especially among the younger generations. Enda’s efforts to improve the genetics of his flock are evident with his 2020 lamb crop having an average €uro-Star value of -€0.58 on the Replacement index (-€2.20 in 2017) and €0.92 on the Terminal index (-€0.20 in 2017). Enda has also made great strides with data collection where his attention to detail and accuracy when recording data is demonstrated with his high DQI of 93%. All data recording is conducted on paper and uploaded to the Sheep Ireland database that day.
Data recording at lambing is taken very seriously with every effort made to ensure accurate records of lambing difficulty, mothering ability and milk yield are recorded. The high level of data recording, as well as the inclusion of rams in the CPT has helped to improve index accuracies in the flock with the 2020 lamb crop having an average index accuracy of 55%.
Enda’s dedication to breeding and performance recording will ensure the continued improvement and success of the Newbridge flock for many years to come. The overall winner of the most improved flock received an engraved trophy, a framed certificate, and a cheque for €500. The two other finalists each received a framed certificate and a cheque for €250. These awards are kindly sponsored by FBD and Sheep Ireland are very grateful for their generous support.
Watch the video below to see the announcement of the overall winners of the FBD Highest Achieving LambPlus Flock and the FBD Most Improved LambPlus Flock. Announcements were made at 8pm Wednesday 3rd.