By Farmers Weekly staff
PROOF that progeny-recorded rams can and will perform failed to attract commercial buyers to Signets ram sale at Dorchester this week.
According to Signets Jonathan Stanley, just seven of the 50 tups entered went to new homes.
“Breeders are going home disappointed, but its the commercial man who is really missing out.”
Use of indexed rams will help ensure progeny have good weaning weights and growth potential, and go on to produce meaty, lean carcasses, says Mr Stanley.
“And when the markets telling us we need to differentiate product and deliver what the meat buyer wants, youd think producers would be looking to get an advantage.”
Rams taken through Signets Sheep Improvement Group testing were not asking a huge premium over tups sold through the livestock ring, he suggests.
Of the seven sold, two Charollais fetched £350 and £400; three Poll Dorset went for between £280 and £360; and two Texels for £360 and £400. All were ready to work on early-lambing flocks.
“These are not silly prices. Theyre above the mart price where rams are bought on looks alone.
“But they dont have the same risks attached. The technology is there to show they can perform and improve returns, but producers have yet to wake up to it.”