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NADIS Parasite Forecast September 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study September 2016 - Liver Fluke, Quarantine Purchased Sheep, Worms in Lambs and Gut and Lungworm in Cattle.

NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the different UK regions.

 

Click on the links below to view:

NADIS Parasite Forecast

Webinar September Parasite Forecast

Video Case Study

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NADIS Parasite Forecast August 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study August 2016 - Worms in lambs and rams, fly control in sheep and worms and lungworm in cattle.

NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the different UK regions.

Click on the links below to view

NADIS Parasite Forecast

Webinar - Parasite Forecast August 2016

Video Case Study

 

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National Texel sales offer added value rams

This year’s round of National Texel Sales in England, Scotland and Wales offer an unprecedented chance for both pedigree and commercial buyers to source rams with top genetics capable of adding significant value to next year’s lamb crop.

Large numbers of performance recorded rams from some of the breed’s leading flocks will be on offer at all three of the mainland GB national sales, with many also carrying breed leading genetics for key traits such as growth rate and muscle depth.

Texel Sheep Society chairman David McKerrow said commercial demand for the breed underpinned these major sales with the top end pedigree demand the icing on the cake for the breed.

“As breeders our members have long recognised the need to produce commercially relevant, fit for purpose sheep suited to the commercial sector. Indeed over the last 42 years since the breed was imported to the UK it has been the breed’s commercial attributes which have seen it rise to be the number one sire in the country.

“Easy fleshing, quick growing lambs with consistent quality carcasses are what draws buyers back year after year and the feedback from commercial producers is that no other breed can match the Texel for these key attributes,” he added.

Mr McKerrow said that buyers attending the National Sales at Lanark, Welshpool and Worcester, could be assured of finding rams to suit them from across the UK. “The great thing about the Texel breed is the adaptability of it to a wide range of farming systems and climatic conditions.

“Wherever you go in the UK you’ll find Texel sired lambs thriving and often producing the leading prices in local markets. The strong maternal characteristics of the breed have also made it popular among commercial farmers, with more than 12.5% of the national flock now being Texel sired ewes.”

Importantly, he added, recent research has shown that using pedigree Texel rams can significantly increase margins compared to using non-pedigree Texels.

The research, undertaken by Tim Byrne, Peter Amer and Tom Kirk of AbacusBio found that using a pedigree Texel ram as opposed to a commercially produced one is worth more than £100 a ram over a four year working life.

“On top of this using a performance recorded Texel ram as opposed to a non-recorded ram adds more than £250 a ram to a commercial producer’s bottom line over a four year working life, significantly increasing the income a flock can generate.”

“Using better rams of known performance and breeding is clearly one way of lifting income in these uncertain times. A performance recorded, pedigree Texel ram could add more than £350 to the value of his progeny over a four year working life.”

The continued genetic improvement in the pedigree and performance recorded Texel populations is unmatched in non-pedigree breeding and commercial buyers can come to the National Texel sales assured of buying rams of known performance and pedigree, said Mr McKerrow.

Once again this year’s Scottish National Texel Sale at Lanark on Wednesday 24 August and Thursday 25 August will be streamed live via the Texel Society’s website for those unable to make the sale, said Texel Society chief executive John Yates.

“This popular service is now in its fifth year with viewers from across the globe tuning in last year to catch up on the sale as it progressed. We have a large Texel community across the UK and further afield many of whom are unable to attend the sale due to other commitments, by streaming the sale live they are able to keep up with all the action as it happens.

“The Society has previously streamed the sale of shearling rams and ram lambs, with the gimmer sale on Wednesday evening  added this year for the first time,” he added.

The Scottish National Sale takes place at Lanark on 24 and 25 August, the Welsh National Sale takes place at Welshpool on 27 August and the English National Sale takes place at Worcester on 29 and 30 August.

To view and download catalogues for all the National Sales see the sales page of this website

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Texel rams add value to commercial flocks

Using pedigree Texel rams can significantly increase margins compared to using non-pedigree Texels, according to recent research.

The research, undertaken by Tim Byrne, Peter Amer and Tom Kirk of AbacusBio found that using a pedigree Texel ram as opposed to a commercially produced one is worth more than £100 a ram over a four year working life, explained Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates.

“On top of this using a performance recorded Texel ram as opposed to a non-recorded ram adds more than £250 a ram to a commercial producer’s bottom line over a four year working life, significantly increasing the income a flock can generate.

“Indeed, with about 100,000 Texel rams being used every year in the GB sheep industry, the total annual benefit could be more than £6m across the industry and when adding together the benefits of using a pedigree ram and a performance recorded pedigree ram the cumulative benefit is as much as £10m a year across the industry,” explained Mr Yates.

At a time when commercial producers are seeking reassurance and stability in the wake of political and economic uncertainty the benefits of using pedigree, performance recorded Texel rams are not to be ignored, he added. “Adding value to commercial sheep enterprises is never easy.

“However, making a simple change to using better rams of known performance and breeding is clearly one way of lifting income. A performance recorded, pedigree Texel ram could add more than £350 to the value of his progeny over a four year working life.”

Mr Yates said the added benefits came about as a result of continued genetic improvement in the pedigree and performance recorded Texel populations which was unmatched in non-pedigree breeding.

“The commitment to breed improvement shown by Texel breeders over more than 40 years has seen the breed rise from nothing to become the leading terminal sire in the UK, while also contributing significantly to the national flock, with more than 12.5% of ewes in the UK being Texel sired.”

The growing influence of the Texel breed as a sire of female replacements gives commercial producers another opportunity to profit from the breed, with its maternal qualities now becoming equally as well recognised as its terminal attributes, said Mr Yates.

“The future may be uncertain, but there is no doubt that the demand for high quality lamb, both domestically and internationally, means the role of the Texel breed is only set to grow. Texel breeders are committed to developing the breed further to suit the needs of the modern sheep producer and the Society’s work on genomics and performance recording is providing breeders with the tools to develop the breed at a faster pace than ever before.”

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Recorded rams the focus at North West event

Commercial and pedigree sheep farmers in the north west of England and south west Scotland will have the chance to learn more about how using performance recorded rams could help their flocks at an event hosted by the Case family’s Nab Point Texel flock.

The open afternoon at Plumpton Cottage Farm, Newland, Ulverston, on Monday 1st August was conceived as a way of helping local commercial customers understand more about EBVs and how they can use them in their ram selection, explains Will Case.

“We’ve been recording for three years now and are seeing a growing interest among our customers for recorded rams. However, like many things there is a lot to understand when it comes to performance recording and I myself am still learning about it. I felt it was important to help potential customers learn from the experts.

“Sam Boon of Signet will be attending the event to give an overview of recording and explain the system and how the indices produced can help commercial buyers produce lambs more efficiently and to the desired specification.”

In his own situation running a large commercial flock alongside the pedigree Texel flock and beef and dairy enterprises, Mr Case says he has learnt a lot about his flock from recording. “Its great to get another insight in to how the flock is performing and without a doubt EBVs are proving to be a useful selection tool for us.

“We use our own Texel rams in the commercial flock each year and having chatted to a few long-term recorders we’re not looking closely at fat cover and using rams with positive fat indexes to encourage easier fleshing in our crossbred lambs.”

Mr Case says with much uncertainty in the sheep sector at the moment aiming to produce sheep with lower feed inputs has to be on the agenda for most producers. “That’s not to say we shouldn’t feed at all as every situation is different, but if we can produce more sheep from less feed that has to be a good thing for our businesses.”

Staring at 2pm the open afternoon will give visitors the chance to see this year’s selection of shearling rams from the Nab Point flock as well as the flock’s crop of gimmers.

For more information and to register for the event see the AHDB Beef and Lamb website.

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Balcony adds to Royal Welsh Texel experience

Support from the Texel Sheep Society for the Royal Welsh Show’s sheep shed balcony development has resulted in an excellent addition to the viewing facilities at the show, with Society members and guests enjoying an unrivalled view of the Texel judging on Monday afternoon at the show and of the interbreed judging later in the week.

The Society’s support of the development allowed two bays to be opened up, with other sponsors also contributing to the development and ensuring the entire length of the balcony was turned in to a viewing platform over the judging rings.

Texel breeders James and Trudy Davies said the balcony had been a superb addition to the show facilities and the Society was to be applauded for helping with it. “Its been a welcome spot in a particularly hot show week, offering some shelter and shade as well as providing a great spot to watch the judging. Its been so popular a huge number of people from other breeds have also been making use of it too!

“Importantly everyone has been made to feel welcome and the girls providing drinks and refreshments have absolutely worked their socks off to keep everyone refreshed throughout the show, but particularly on Monday afternoon during judging when the temperatures were extremely hot.”

See the full Royal Welsh results here

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Consider Bluetongue vaccination ahead of ram sales

Breeders are being urged to consider Bluetongue vaccination well in advance of the upcoming ram sales in case the virus enters the UK during the peak ram selling season resulting in only vaccinated, disease resistanct animals being able to leave disease control zones.

At a meeting of the NSA Wales and Border Ram Sales committee the committee heard from NSA chief executive Phil Stocker who said: "With Bluetongue still being predicted as having an 80% chance of reaching the UK in the late summer/autumn there was much discussion about vaccination and movement restrictions in the event of the virus being found here in the UK. Once of the most important points raised was that if farmers want to avoid any disruption to ram movements and sales, having decided to vaccinate, they should do so early because if an outbreak were to occur it will lead to a situation which allowss only vaccinated animals which have developed immunity to the virus being allowed to move from whatever zones may be put in place. It is in everyone's interest to do what we can to avoid disruption in movements and trade.

"NSA understands that vaccine will be available imminently and advises sheep farmers to speak to their vets for more information at the earliest opportunity," he added.

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said Texel breeders would be well advised to discuss vaccination with their vets and take the best possible advice with regards protecting their stock in advance of any potential Bluetongue outbreak in the UK. "The potential disruption to trade and movements resulting from a Bluetongue outbreak is significant and anything which can be done to minimise this disruption should be considered."

 

 

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Texels set to add £23m/year to sheep industry

A combination of continued genetic improvement within the breed and greater use of the breed for maternal purposes in GB flocks means the financial impact of the Texel breed is set to grow in the coming years, according to a recent study.

The research, undertaken by Tim Byrne, Peter Amer and Tom Kirk of AbacusBio on behalf of the Texel Sheep Society, estimates the annual financial benefits of genetic improvement in the the GB national flock as a result of increased use of Texel genetics at £23.1m, a total of £244.2m in the 20 years from 2016 to 2035.

British Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the findings of the report will be used by the Society Board to expand the breed development plan and membership services. These  should give Texel breeders a good steer on future breed direction to meet the needs of commercial producers, as well as reinforcing the need for ongoing research in the sheep industry as a whole.

“The study included an analysis of genetic trends in performance-recorded and non-recorded Texel flocks and the scale of use of the breed in commercial flocks,” he explained.

“The Society continually monitors the position of the breed within the UK industry. This is not purely on the level of pedigree registrations, but also on commercial use of the breed across the diverse UK sheep industry. We are not as fortunate as the beef industry that has annual BCMS records published, so we have to use different methods to obtain accurate, objective measures of the use of the breed.”

“The Texel breed excels in many areas within the UK industry, but the way the breed is used today is changing and it is essential to ensure we understand its influence and adapt the information that we provide and exchange with our breeders accordingly.”

For example, according to the data, in 2015 an estimated 56% of Texel rams used were rams from which replacements were retained, while in 1996 this figure was 30%. This is backed up by industry census figures which show that more than 12.5% of ewes in the national flock are by Texel sires.

Historically, said Mr Yates, the Texel breed’s influence on the industry has come from its use as a terminal sire. “However, that is quickly changing as an increased number of commercial farmers recognise the quality of the breed’s maternal traits. The use of Texel rams to breed replacements results in additional benefits to the industry, captured through maternal trait genetic trend improvements,” he added.

“Additionally, most of the benefits derived from using Texel sired females have, in the past, come as a result of improved terminal traits. The breed’s increasing importance as a sire of female replacements will, in future, have a growing influence on future breed development strategies.”

“Ongoing genomic research projects in a number of health traits which are sire influenced maternal traits, such as mastitis and footrot, will aid these developments,” he added.

Explaining the results of the research to a meeting of the Texel Society’s breed development committee, Tim Byrne of AbacusBio said the calculation of future benefits of the Texel breed came as a result of following the recent trends (over the last five years) of both increased market penetration and also accelerating rates of genetic progress in economically important traits. These trends were assumed in the model to continue over the next ten years, beyond which the genetic trend was assumed zero. This provides a conservative, discounted estimate of the breed’s future industry influence.

“Continued increases in matings per ram and further expansion of the Texel breed, in particular for maternal purposes, position the breed to continue to deliver significant economic benefits to the GB sheep industry,” said Dr Byrne.

While the historic benefits of the Texel breed to GB sheep farmers have been significant and are estimated to have totalled £197m from 1996 to 2015, the outlook is brighter due to an increased trend of use in Texel sires from pedigree flocks. “In 1996 it was estimated that only 29% of Texel rams were from pedigree flocks, in 2015 that figure was estimated at 48%, increasing the flow of genetic improvement from the pedigree sector to commercial producers.

“This is significant as the research found that using a pedigree Texel ram as opposed to a commercially produced one is worth more than £20 a ram a year. On top of this using a performance recorded ram as opposed to a non-recorded ram adds an estimated £63 a ram a year to a commercial producers bottom line, significantly increasing the income a ram can generate over a four year working life.

“Indeed, with about 100,000 Texel rams being used every year in the GB sheep industry, the total annual benefit could be more than £6m across the industry and when adding together the benefits of using a pedigree ram and a performance recorded pedigree ram the cumulative benefit is as much as £10m a year across the industry,” explained Dr Byrne.

“This latest, independent, research also offered further analysis of industry generated census data, and included an additional survey of Texel breeders. As such, the findings represent the views of Texel breeders and offer clearer guidance about future research and development priorities.”

Dr Byrne said the survey of Texel breeders identified that, despite the trend for commercial producers to retain Texel sired female replacements, terminal traits were clearly regarded as strengths of the Texel breed.

“The most highly regarded strength was shown to be carcase meat yield (for 96% of respondents), followed by growth rate (87%), lamb vigour and survival (86%) and the ability to differentiate between breed type in the live market (85%).

“In terms of selection criteria, some 56% of respondents considered health status to be extremely important, followed by ram structural traits that affect functionality (50% of respondents), saleability of offspring based on visual criteria (39%), and traits that define correct breed type (37%),” explained Dr Byrne.

Mr Yates added: “The growing importance of the maternal role of Texel genetics in the UK sheep flock indicates there are further opportunities for economic gain, through an increased focus on maternal ewe traits for breed improvement in the future. The Society’s first tranche of genomic research investigating the genetics behind both mastitis and footrot is paving the way for the development of genomic EBVs for both these traits, ensuring the breed meets the needs of commercial farmers in future.

“The potential impact of this research is worth millions of pounds for the industry and will give significant benefit to commercial producers across the UK. These are exciting times for Texel breeders, with access to the latest breeding tools and a clear focus of support and development available from the Society,” he explained.

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NADIS Parasite Forecast July 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study July 2016. Worms and anthelmintic resistance in lambs, blowfly strike, worms and lungworm in cattle.

In the July issue plan this season's control strategy. View.

 

Watch the Webinar for the July parasite forecast. View.

 

Video case study. View.

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New private sales initiative for Texel breeders

Texel breeders are now able to list stock for sale via a dedicated web portal on the UK’s largest livestock trading website, SellMyLivestock.

This new initative, offered with the support of the Texel Sheep Society, will enable Society members to list stock on SellMyLivestock for just £3.50 per listing and reach an audience of more than 4000 registered users. 

SellMyLivestock commercial director Andrew Loftus explains that the dedicated space within the SellMyLivestock website will enable potential buyers to find Texel sheep more easily than if they are contained in the main listing. “SellMyLivestock is growing every day, with increasing numbers of potential buyers searching the site for stock to suit their requirements. Texel breeders will be able to take advantage of this growing audience and showcase their stock to a UK audience at the click of a button,” he said.

“By loading stock for sale through the dedicated Texel Society portal the sheep will be displayed with associated Texel Society branding”

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the new marketing opportunity, available to all Society members, was another added value offering which will enable breeders to better market their stock. “With the ever advancing pace of digital communication and marketing this is another tool in the marketing armoury of Texel breeders and will enable them to connect with potential customers across the UK who may previously have struggled to find stock suited to their requirements. Our successful catalogued sales continue to go from strength to strength with over 12,000 pedigree stock catalogued last year, however, with this new facility available for members, this initiative provides an additional complement fro members.”

Online listings will cost Texel Society members just £3.50, with no commission charged on sales transactions and all payments for stock handled directly between the vendor and the buyer.

 Visit the Society home page and click on the Sellmylivestock link, or choose the society branding as an option if visiting Sellmylivestock directly.

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