Press release 2 - SheepNet – aims to increase sheep productivity

 

SheepNet – aims to increase sheep productivity

Dr Tim Keady

Animal & Grassland Research & Innovation Centre,

Mellows Campus, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway.

 

Summary

The number of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50% since 2000. SheepNet is a new EU funded project involving the 6 main EU sheep producing countries and Turkey aiming to increase sheep productivity (efficient reproduction, efficient gestation and reduced lamb mortality).

 

Solutions for many issues which negatively impact sheep productivity exist. SheepNet will share these solutions by establishing durable exchange between scientists and stakeholders across EU.

 

Recently each country held its first national workshop involving a wide range of stakeholders. The main challenges/issues/needs influencing sheep productivity were discussed.  

 

The first transnational workshop was held in Edinburgh involving participants, and farmers, from the 7 countries. The consensus was the issues/problems influencing sheep productivity were similar across all countries. The delegates visited a 1920 ewe flock.

 

SheepNet is open to all EU countries, stakeholders, sheep producers. For further information:

 

SheepNet is a new EU funded project involving the 6 main EU sheep producing countries (Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Romania, Spain and Italy) and Turkey. SheepNet aims to increase sheep productivity which is the combination of efficient reproduction, efficient gestation and reduced lamb mortality.

 

Why SheepNet?

The number of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50% since 2000 and sheep productivity is relatively low. To reinforce the attractiveness of the sheep sector it is necessary to increase the sheep productivity (the number of lambs reared OR the number of milking ewes per ewe joined). An EU wide approach may have a stronger impact!

 

 

 

What will SheepNet do?

Solutions for many issues which negatively impact sheep productivity exist. SheepNet will establish durable exchange of existing scientific and practical knowledge, and innovative and best practices and technologies which improve sheep productivity among farmers, advisors, consultants, researchers and other stakeholders.

 

What has happened in the last 6 months?

Recently the first Irish national workshop was held at Teagasc, Athenry and was attended by a wide range of stakeholders (see photo caption). The main challenges/issues/needs influencing sheep productivity were discussed.  For example the consensus of the meeting was that the 3 main issues influencing effective reproduction were the effects of ewe body condition score, nutrition/grassland management and flock health status.

 

The first transnational workshop was held in Edinburgh. Participants from the 7 countries exchanged knowledge on the production systems and issues influencing sheep productivity within their own countries. The consensus of the meeting was that the issues/problems influencing sheep productivity were quite similar across all countries. The delegates visited a 1920 ewe flock which finished all lambs from grass.

 

 

SheepNet is open to all EU countries, stakeholders, sheep producers. 

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