Buccleuch’s Borders Estate has welcomed one of the UK’s most intensively recorded performance flocks as part of a breeding firm's measure to boost sheep efficiency.
Innovis' nucleus flock made the 300 mile journey from west Wales to its new home, Southfield Farm near Hawick in the Scottish Borders.
The flock comprises 800 ewes and 600 ewe lambs, and is made up in equal numbers of Aberfield, Abertex, Abermax, Aberdale, Highlander, Primera and Cheviot.
It was established 10 years ago on Mynydd Gorddu, an upland unit near Aberystwyth, which is used as a testing ground for commercial traits, especially lamb survival and mothering ability.
Innovis chief executive, Dewi Jones said: “We have taken the decision to relocate one of the UK’s most intensively recorded performance recorded flocks to the Scottish Borders to improve Innovis’ overall efficiency.
“Southfield has greater stock carrying capacity providing the opportunity to expand the flock on its 630 acres.
"It will offer us a more central location from which to service customers, who in turn will have access to some of the highest performing genetics in the Innovis breeding programme."
In addition, he said relocating would provide closer links with the Scottish research groups and with Scotland’s Rural College’s (SRUC) CT scanning unit, which is an important measuring tool.
And a PhD in lamb survival is already underway in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College and AgResearch in New Zealand.
"We hope that the flock’s new home will also provide opportunities to measure additional traits such as methane outputs," Mr Jones said.
The move will also provide Innovis with the opportunity to work closer with Buccleuch, which uses the firm's genetics across a number of their estates, and it breeds Primera and Abermax rams at Bowhill.
Mr Jones added: "We have also established a Cheviot recorded flock at Eldinhope, a 3,200 acre hill farm that has come back in hand, as part of Innovis’ new hill ram breeding program.
"Buccleuch’s progressive approach to farming on a large scale provides an exciting opportunity for us.”
Innovis was established in 2004, originally as a spinout from Aberystwyth University.
The firm has grown to become the UK’s largest sheep breeding business with over 10,000 ewes fully performance recorded across 22 Breeding Partner sites.