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Weekly Update: 27/02/2015

UCD Agriculture and Food Careers Day

This week Sheep Ireland and ICBF attended this very important day in the in the Irish agricultural calendar as it gives the soon to be graduates a chance to network with potential future employees, as well as giving future employees a chance to introduce themselves to some of the best candidates in the country for current/future positions. Minister Simon Coveney opened the event which is organised by the students and spoke how Ireland needs to become a world leader in the agricultural and food sectors using all the science and technologies available in order to become more efficient, profitable and sustainable. There were a record number of 40 exhibitors attending the event.

Both Sheep Ireland and ICBF received a great deal of interest and some excellent CV’s. We would once again like to thank the committee for the invitation to the very well organised event.


2015 Central Progeny Test lambing has commenced

This week the first CPT lambs of 2015 were born on the Teagasc Better farm of Brian Nicholson in Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny. 250 ewes in total were AI’d on Brian’s farm last autumn and a conception rate of 76% was recorded at scanning time – this means 190 ewes will lamb down in a very short period of time. On Wednesday, while busy gearing up the busy days ahead, Brian also hosted UTV Ireland’s film crew for their ‘Diary of a Farmer’ news feature. Click here to see the featured piece from Brian’s farm.

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While temperatures remain low, the weather is allowing for lambs to be released to grass daily which is hugely advantageous on a number of fronts – labour, disease, shed space, feed costs, the list goes on.

Next week the remaining CPT ewes will kick off their lambing season. Across the entire CPT, just under 2,500 ewes were AI’d with an average conception rate of 78%. This translates into 1,950 ewes lambing down in the next few weeks. Lambing dates across the flocks are staggered somewhat – this is partly by design to help spread the workload for the Sheep Ireland technicians, but also caused by the shear workload of the AI programme which takes almost 2 weeks to complete. This year we will be collecting some new measurements across all the flocks including lamb vigor at birth, ewe mothering ability and a score for ewe milk. Once captured we’ll investigate the potential contribution that these measurements could make to our replacement indices.

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