Open day planned at NI’s first RamCompare flock

Northern farm research body AgriSearch is set to host a farm walk explaining the results of pioneering commercial progeny study, RamCompare.

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) flock is Northern Ireland’s first RamCompare commercial progeny test flock.

The flock is used to test rams with high and low muscle indexes from terminal sire breeds recorded on the Signet and Sheep Ireland systems.

The event at the AFBI Deerpark Farm in Loughgall, Co. Armagh, will be run in partnership with AFBI, Dunbia and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

The ‘Efficient Lamb Production’ evening will focus on the breeding and feeding aspects of lowland lamb production.

Testing performance-recorded rams

RamCompare – the UK’s first commercial progeny test – has been testing performance-recorded rams from terminal sire breeds since 2015.

Liz Genever from AHDB will give an overview of the initial results, including the new estimated breeding values (EBVs) that were launched in November.

This project is co-funded by the department through the Research Challenge Fund. Provisional results on lamb performance will be presented by AFBI’s lead sheep researcher, Aurelie Aubry.

George Williamson from Dunbia will also be there to explain the importance of selection to target market specification.

The latest results from the ‘Lamb from Grass’ project – which forms part of GrassCheck – will also be featured. GrassCheck pilot farmer, Crosby Cleland, will discuss how he uses a rotational sheep grazing system on his farm.

The event will start at 6:00pm and finish at 8:30pm on June 4. For registration details please go to: agrisearch.org; or call Elizabeth at AgriSearch on: 028 92681514.