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Press release

National Beef Evaluation Carcase Trait EBVs now available through Signet

Since 2018, AHDB has published the National Beef Evaluations, providing estimated breeding values (EBVs) for all breeds and crossbreeds of cattle to allow breeders to select animals for improved carcase and maternal traits. We are now working to make these tools available for Signet recording breeds through the Signet website, which will allow breeders to use all the available information in one place, to select the best breeding animals for their herd. This has been launched for Sussex breeders and other breeds will follow over the next few months, so watch this space.

Signet joins forces with teams from across AHDB to deliver a series of workshops across the North of England.

Each event provided attendees the opportunity to join a series of stations with expert speakers covering topics from genetics to market insights to butchery and selection demonstrations. Designed to challenge ideas and highlight opportunities for improvements within the farming systems and the consumer in mind.

The Sheep Breeders Round Table (SBRT) is looking to appoint new committee members.

SBRT is currently looking to bolster the independent individuals on the committee and is looking for volunteers with an interest and/or experience in sheep genetics and knowledge of SBRT.


Record prices achieved at virtual ram sales

During the summer, we launched some new estimated breeding values (EBVs) for sheep farmers. To explain what these were and how useful they could be, we hit the road to talk to farmers about them at a series of workshops.

Farmers attending the workshops heard how careful ram selection can easily lift the value of lambs by £3–£5 a head, which would be worth an extra £1,000 over a ram’s working lifetime.

“Breed for CH4nge” an industry collaboration that will help the industry to breed sheep with a naturally low carbon footprint.

AHDB are delighted to share news of our involvement in “Breed for CH4nge” an industry collaboration that will help the industry to breed sheep with a naturally low carbon footprint. There are a number of exciting elements to the project that align closely to AHDB’s research interests, and the genetic services delivered by Signet. The project will enhance our knowledge of genomics, breeding for parasite resistance and CT scanning, whilst assessing the benefits of using Portable Accumulation Chambers (PAC) to predict methane emissions in grazing sheep.

Economic Expression of Hill Index

Performance recording has been used within hill sheep breeding programmes for many years, but recent developments as part of the Hill Ram Scheme in Wales has led to changes in the expression of the index. From June 2023 the index will be expressed in £ as the expected annual return per ewe.

Genomic breeding values launched and new presentation of the hill index

Signet are proud to announce the release of the UK’s first commercially available genomic breeding values for sheep. The release of genomic breeding values is a major first for the UK industry following research lead by Samir Id Lahoucine at SRUC; work was funded as part of the Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) lead Hill Ram Scheme and has been implemented as part of Farming Connects Welsh Sheep Genetics Programme.

Farm Event - Ram selection to maximise lamb growth rates from forage

Join us at Thistleyhaugh, one of our RamCompare trial farms, along with Harry Sordy from our North East Beef and Lamb Monitor Farm to hear how this new genetic information can be used to find the most profitable sires as we debate the importance to carcase quality relative to speed of finishing, on a farm that strives to optimise lamb growth rates from forage.

Thistleyhaugh Farm, Longhorsley, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 8RG, Tuesday 08 August 2023, 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Book now

New breeding values for abattoir traits revealed by AHDB’s Signet Breeding Services

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board is to make new breeding values for abattoir traits an integral part of the National Terminal Sire Evaluation through its Signet Breeding Services, following significant analysis of abattoir data. This new approach coincides with the release of the latest RamCompare results at a webinar on 11 May 2023 (book online).  

Catch up here -

What’s New for 2023?

We recognise the importance of generating consistency in the monthly breeding values published by Signet.

While the ranking of animals will change as new data is added to the genetic evaluation, breeders generally wish to avoid changes that lead to their animals re-ranking - unless the index of their favourite ram goes up of course! However, as time moves on the team of geneticists at SRUC do make recommendations on ways to enhance our evaluations and if it is going to help breeders to make better breeding decisions, then we try to take their advice.