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Two Welsh Farms Join Major Research Project

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Two Welsh farms have joined the third phase of the jointly-funded RamCompare scheme, a major agricultural research project designed to help sheep farmers to achieve the best breeding performance from their flocks and meet the needs of consumers.

Following a successful application process, two new Welsh farms will join RamCompare this autumn. Both farms have an interest in data collection and flock performance recording and , through RamCompare, will investigate which rams have the right genetic merit for their farm  systems.

RamCompare is the national progeny test for terminal sire breeds, funded by the levy boards Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), AHDB and QMS; supported by Agrisearch in Northern Ireland and working with partners across the food chain.

Stephen and Louise Abberley, one of the new RamCompare farmers, with HCC Research and Development Officer, Nia Davies

Alwyn Nutting farms Glascoed near Newtown with his family. They run a herd of suckler beef and a flock of around 800 Aberfield cross, Highlander cross and Welsh ewes.

Alwyn explains,

“Our interest in using performance recorded stock began when we selected a bull based on figures some years ago and we now want to achieve the best from our commercial flock.

“The project will enable us to trial high genetic merit rams of different breeds which are selected on specific traits which are believed to best suit our system.

“We believe the genetic potential of the sires will be inherited by their lambs and look forward to following progress through the commercial lamb performance data we will collect on farm.”

1. Alwyn Nutting, one of the new RamCompare farmers, with his son, Dylan

Stephen and Louise Abberley and their family run a sheep farm in Brecon which includes pedigree Texel and Blue Faced Leicester performance recorded flocks.

Stephen explained,

“I applied to be part of RamCompare as I was interested in comparing different breeds to see how breeding traits could perform differently within our current system.

“I am open minded and I look forward to seeing how rams with high index figures will benefit our commercial lamb enterprise.”

HCC Research and Development Officer, Nia Davies, who works closely with the RamCompare team, adds, “Over five years, RamCompare has seen that key breeding traits can drive productivity and optimise flock profitability.

“Farms who have been part of RamCompare in the past have experienced the benefits that Estimated Breeding Value based ram selection has on their commercial enterprises and we are really looking forward to working with both Alwyn and Stephen on this project.”

For more information on the RamCompare project, including a downloadable copy of the latest results, please visit www.RamCompare.com