According to the chair of the new Ruminant Health and Welfare Group, Nigel Miller, sheep farmers should utilise flock performance data more effectively to work with advisors and vets on making changes.
A useful stage to measure is the decline between scanning rates and lambs sold. To reduce friction between weaning and scanning, farmers can target the lambing rate to the system. While lowland producers could push for higher prolificacy, those who are outdoor lambing in the hills will opt for easy-care genetics. However, evidence conveys lamb death rates increase where scanning rates are above one-hundred and seventy per cent. In these systems, managers will need lambing support and precise nutrition to obtain good rearing figures.
“Sheep farmers should utilise flock performance data more effectively.“
Mr Miller stated: “On-farm recording can provoke an immediate management response but then is often sidelined in a file. Perhaps there is real value in pulling back that key data and making time to review performance strengths and weaknesses. Often that will have a knock-on effect to other KPIs too. And if you have a particular goal it’s easier for an advisor to help you. Having a good advisor can be a real game-changer.”