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.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.