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Signet database heralds a new era for sheep industry

AHDB news release - For immediate release - 21 November 2019


Signet database heralds a new era for sheep industry

Sheep producers are set to benefit from a new online tool which makes it easier to find the right ram for a production system.

AHDB has invested in a new database and website for Signet Breeding Services which helps commercial and pedigree producers profit from performance gains associated with genetic improvement.

Designed by SRUC, has better and faster data entry tools and greatly improved online reporting, including the ability to produce real time genetic and inbreeding trends.

Online data entry also enables breeders to supply weights throughout an animal’s life, providing a greater understanding of overall efficiency.

The new database also has improved data export capabilities, integrating not just with office applications such as Microsoft Excel, but also many of the main farm software providers. This gives breeders the latest information whenever they need it - in whatever format they desire.

It is now easier to find the genetic merit of sheep, expressed using EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values) and breeding indexes to find breeders with sheep for sale, using Flock Finder, a service that inform farmers about ram breeders in their region.

A new Sheep for Sale section enables producers to browse listings of rams, ewes and semen sales from farms and auctions. Each sale post is live for a fixed period of time, to ensure only recent and relevant sales are visible.

Sam Boon, Animal Breeding Senior Manager, said: “We know producers can benefit by £4-5/lamb by selecting the right ram, with greater gains when selecting improved genetics within maternal breeding programmes. It is now easier than ever to find the right ram for your sheep production system.”

For more information, visit


Notes to editors

AHDB is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Its purpose is to equip levy payers with independent, evidence-based information and tools to grow, become more competitive and sustainable. Established in 2008 and classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body, it supports the following industries: meat and livestock (cattle, sheep and pigs) in England; horticulture, milk and potatoes in Great Britain; and cereals and oilseeds in the UK. AHDB’s remit covers 72 per cent of total UK agricultural output. Further information on AHDB can be found at


For further information contact Sharon Robinson, AHDB Senior Marcomms Manager Beef & Lamb on 024 7647 8836 or [email protected]


About the author

Samuel Boon

Samuel Boon

I am the Manager of Signet Breeding Services, within the AHDB.

Enthusiast on all things genetics to do with sheep and cattle and currently also supporting Bridget Lloyd in running the @RamCompare progeny test with ~18,000 lambs/annum.

I am also involved with the:-

  • Relaunch of Terminal Sire Breeding Programmes (Sheep)
  • AHDB lead for the Welsh Sheep Breeding Project run by HCC - working with Innovis, HCC and Janet Roden
  • Database design and development for this website
  • National Sheep Breeds Survey
  • Development of Carcase Trait EBVs in Beef Cattle
  • Formerly involved with the delivery of the Welsh Sheep Strategy, Northern Upland Sheep Strategy, Suckler Cow Project, Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy

I can be followed on Twitter @SamBoonBreeding