For this year's event, farmers are invited to enter a group of six lambs that must be representative of the type of lambs produced by the commercials flock on the farm. This group of six can be any breed or cross, but the carcases must fall into the 18-21kg weight range. The Saleable Meat Yield will be judged from one carcase, which will be butchered according to set specifications and priced as if being sold on the high street.
Royal livestock and equine manager Sarah Deeming said: "We feel the main lamb competition class at the Royal Show must reflect the reality of commercial sheep production. In the considerably modified competition, the number of lambs per group has been reduced from eight to six, and the weight range has also changed.
"This is the first year that we have included Saleable Meat Yield in the criteria. We are confident that this will make it a more meaningful competition from a commercial point of view, as well attracting more contestants."
The Royal Show takes place from 7-10 July at Stoneleigh. As well as livestock shows, there will be a conference programme concentrating on the commercial realities of farming in 2009.