The Sheep Ireland Guide & Directory of Breeders 2023 is now available and has been posted out to over 13,000 commercial breeders this month, in time for the breeding season.
The guide & directory highlights pedigree breeders who are involved in the LambPlus programme who are performance recording their animals. This performance data contributes to genetic evaluations producing €urostars. Breed Society Contacts for most breeds of sheep in the country and contact details of performance recording Breeders are included, as well as Hill Groups and Breeders who have genotyped their hill rams.
In this guide & directory there is a wealth of information such as stats from the Irish Sheep Industry, tips for ram purchasers, explanations on how to understand and interpret €urostars and values, the ingredients that comprise the €urostar indexes, explanations of genomics and validation information, as well as information on what is happening with the Hill sector, and about the Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS).
“We’ve seen another incredibly busy year in Sheep Ireland with a number of hugely positive developments for Irish sheep genetic improvement. The launch of the DAFM Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS) Genotyped ram option will take breed improvement to a new level. This task is particularly groundbreaking for our hill sector where a foundation will
now be laid for future progress on the back of widespread sire genotyping taking place.
Methane breeding indexes were launched in 2023 (only the 2nd country to do so). Work has also commenced on establishing breeding indexes for worm resistance. Genetic improvement across the key production traits continue on a positive trajectory. All this work is the result of ongoing close partnerships between key industry stakeholders DAFM, Teagasc, Meat Industry Ireland and Sheep Breed Societies all underpinned and supported by Irish sheep farmers. We look forward to another year of progress for Irish genetics, continuing to help improve farm profitability.”
Alex Clarke – Chair of the Sheep Ireland board, pedigree Texel sheep breeder from Boyerstown in Co. Meath.