According to recent research and development trials by the Texel Sheep Society, Texel sires are delivering a 20 per cent boost to lamb grades compared to the rest of the UK sheep industry.

The results, which come from the Society’s groundbreaking Taste vs Waste trial, show that 84 per cent of Texel sired lambs met industry specification, compared to 64 per cent of lambs slaughtered across the UK.

The 2600 lambs in the Society’s Taste versus Waste project were sired by 56 sires over two years and bred from Scotch Mule ewes typical of the type of crossbred ewe found on a large proportion of UK sheep farms.

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said: “This significant difference in the grading of lambs under the existing EUROP classification system translates in to increased lamb values and better margins for prime lamb producers.

“In addition more than 97 per cent of lambs slaughtered in the project graded in the top three conformation grades (E,U and R), compared to 85 per cent of average UK industry lambs."

Mr Yates advised that with UK lamb prices likely to come under greater pressure in the coming years, sheep farmers should be looking to add value to their output wherever possible.

“Using Texel rams is proven to deliver better returns while at the same time reducing the risk sheep farmers are exposed to,” he said.

“Texel lambs are always in demand and nearly always at the top of the prices across the country, be that as prime lambs, store lambs or breeding female replacements.

“As thoughts turn to this autumn’s tupping season and the continued uncertainty over the future of the UK’s trading relationships with the rest of the world pervades the industry, adding value through the right genetics is a win:win for sheep farmers.

“It is important to note that the benefits seen in the trial came from using pedigree and performance recorded Texels. Using rams of known performance and breeding is a simple step many farmers can make to boost their sheep enterprise profits."

Mr Yates said the added benefits offered from using both pedigree and performance recorded Texel rams were a result of continued genetic improvement in the pedigree and performance recorded Texel populations which was unmatched in crossbred and purebred non-pedigree breeding.