Performance recording of sheep is at a 10-year high amid increasing demand, according to latest figures. Over the past 18 months the number of flocks recorded with Signet Breeding Services – which is funded by industry body Eblex – has increased by 12%, from 638 in September 2011 to 717 in March 2013. There has been an increase in the number of large maternal breeds that have started to record, with breeders using on-farm software to record hundreds of lambs at the click of a button.
HGCA board job for Robert Lasseter
Robert Lasseter is among four new members of the Home Grown Cereals Authority board appointed last month by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. He farms 160 hectares in Dorset, running a four-year rotation of winter wheat, spring barley, winter barley and oilseed rape as well as breeding Freedom Food finished pigs. He is a Nuffield scholar and is actively involved with the NFU, where he currently sits on the national crops board and has previously served as regional board chairman and on the governance board. He is a non-executive director at Wessex Grain.
Increase in on-line cattle transactions
Cattle keepers are continuing to break records for making transactions online. More than 91% of all cattle movements, births and deaths were reported electronically in February – the highest ever figure and a 5.5% increase on the same time last year. Justin Chamberlain, the RPA's customer director, said: "Every month more farmers are switching to electronic reporting. The CTS website and self-service phone line are convenient, trusted and time saving and allow cattle keepers to report transactions round the clock."
Land Rover deal for Prince's fund
Prince Charles has announced details of a new bursary to help support rural communities, by giving up to five groups or individuals the use of a Land Rover Freelander 2 for one year. The Prince announced the scheme during a visit to Kirkby Lonsdale, where he met beneficiaries of the Prince's Countryside Fund and took part in a Land Rover driver training programme. Groups or individuals are being invited to apply for the bursary by demonstrating how the use of the vehicle would enable them to support their rural community.
Review of Red Tractor Pig scheme
A group comprising producers, vets, NPA and BPEX representatives, as well as the chairman of the Red Tractor Pigs Scheme met for the first time last week to begin a thorough review of the standards.