Sheep producers encouraged to take advantage of latest technology

Welsh sheep farmers are being told they should make use of the latest technology to enhance the genetics and profitability of their flocks.

To help give them an understanding into innovations within the industry, there will be a demonstration of Computed Tomography (CT) scanning of ram lambs in Aberystwyth on Sunday, 28 August. The showcase will highlight how technology can accurately measure key characteristics to help produce lambs that meet market requirements.

The mobile scanner is owned by Scottish agricultural college SRUC and will be demonstrated in Wales in collaboration with Hybu Cig Cymru Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) at University farm, Plas Gogerddan SY23 3EB.

CT scanning helps identify outstanding animals within the breed that can help improve the efficiency with which superior livestock can be selected using on-farm ultrasound.

The scan produces measurements for the weight and percentage of fat, muscle and bone in the carcase, said Gwawr Parry, HCCs industry development officer. Data can also be obtained on muscle distribution in the loin, leg and chest.

With processors paying more for animals with certain characteristics, which arent always obvious to the naked eye, analysing breeding rams is becoming ever-more important for farms profitability. CT scanning is a welfare-friendly way of obtaining key data to improve estimated breeding values; Im sure many will be keen to see this technology in action.

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