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First-year data from a project aiming to improve the productivity of hill flocks will be discussed at an event on 16 August in North Yorkshire.

Launched in 2017, the North York Moors Swaledale Breeders group, with the support of AHDB, set up a project that looks to improve the carcase traits of Swaledale sheep with the aim of creating a template for hill sheep performance recording.

The free event will offer an opportunity to find out the latest on the first year of data collection, which has been conducted through the use of technology including weighing scales, electronic identification and ultrasound scanning.

Emma Steele, Signet Breeding Specialist, said: “We’ve been looking at ways in which we can improve growth and carcase traits in a structured breeding programme that will help us to improve overall profitability of hill farming systems. However, we must not do this at the expense of maternal traits and the project also records and aims to improve maternal characteristics.

“It is arguably much harder to collect this level of data in a hill farming environment rather than with lowland flocks, but everyone involved is really keen to find out how this may help them to improve productivity and the genetics of their flocks while demonstrating data collection methods that can be rolled out more widely across the hill farming sector.”

The event will also offer attendees the opportunity to watch an ultrasound scanning demonstration, as well as hear about lamb finishing, health and nutrition for the next year of the project from independent sheep consultant Kate Phillips.

To register for this free event contact [email protected]