Pedigree breeders are being encouraged to submit ram nominations to RamCompare, the national progeny test for terminal sire breeds, for the 2022 mating season. Nominations are now open, and close on April 20.
RamCompare, funded by the levy boards AHDB, HCC, and QMS, and supported by Agrisearch in Northern Ireland, use supply chain data to inform genetic evaluations. Results from the project enable commercial farmers to select superior performance recorded rams, whose progeny better meet market specifications.
The project is looking for rams with estimated breeding values (EBVs) in the top 20% of the breed. Natural service sires should be shearlings or older and have a known, high health status; fit, fertile older stock rams are welcome. RamCompare will also purchase frozen semen in batches of 30 straws for use via artificial insemination (AI).
Each year rams are selected from a nominated range of terminal sire breeds and used on commercial farms across the UK. Progeny are monitored from birth to slaughter, feeding back data to Signet for breeding evaluations.
Now beginning its seventh year, RamCompare has tested 313 terminal sire rams, producing more than 30,000 lambs from commercial ewes, mated using AI or natural service.