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Stackyard News Aug 09

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    Highlighting the Benefits of EBVs

At a free meeting at Gallowshill Farm, Cambo, Morpeth, Northumberland, sheep producers will have explained the benefits of estimated breeding values (EBVs) and the importance they play in matching systems and breed to produce a consistent product for today’s various market specifications. The unique EBLEX virtual selection tour and a butchery demonstration will also highlight this.

Hans Porksen

Hans Porksen

Hosting the event on August 25 between 11am and 3pm, farmer Hans Porksen specialises in five different breeds.

After being involved in farm management and agricultural education, Hans took over the tenancy of Gallowshill Farm in 1990. It is 137 ha, all grass, owned by the National Trust, much of which is in Less Favoured Area (LFA). The farm joined ELS in 2005 and qualifies for full HFA.

The Hans Suffolk flock was established in 1983 and they are the founder members of the Suffolk Sire Reference Scheme. Currently the flock has 60 ewes and 30 hoggs, with most of the ewes being in the top 5% of the breed and all of the stock rams within the top 1%.

Hans’ Scottish Blackface flock consists of 200 ewes and 50 hoggs, some are purebred and some are put to Blue Faced Leicester to breed Mule replacements.

His Mule flock consists of 320 ewes, which are all crossed with High Index homebred Suffolk rams. The prime lambs are sold through local marts, a National Trust farm shop and a livestock agent, with surplus shearlings generally sold privately.

The Cambo Blue Faced Leicester flock, owned by farm manager Ian Fenwick, was established in 2007 with the purchase of 12 in-lamb ewes. The ram lambs are crossed with Scottish Blackfaces and sold as shearlings the following season.

The Wallington Texels are a new flock, purchased in 2008 and 2009. Only females with EBVs in the top few percentage of the breed were bought to found the flock and in its first season it headed the list of Signet recorded Texels in the UK.

Programme 11.00am Registration with refreshments

11.30am Introduction – Steve Powdrill, EBLEX Regional Manager and Hans Porksen, Gallowshill Farm

11.45am The Importance of using EBVs to select terminal sires and crossing rams – Samuel Boon, EBLEX

12.30pm Selection and butchery demonstration – Steve Powdrill and Michael Magneron, local butcher

1.15pm Lunch

1.45pm Farm walk

2.45pm Return for questions

3.00pm Event ends

To register for your FREE place ring Hellen and Sandra on 0870 609 1840 or email:

Directions Take the B6342 towards Rothbury from the A696. Continue on this road past Wallington Estate and Farm Shop (on left hand side) and the farm is on a sharp right hand bend about 2 ½ miles from the Estate. There will be EBLEX signs on the B6342.

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