Development and application of a UK whole farm sheep production systems model (PhD)


Beef & Lamb
Project code:
01 October 2020 - 30 September 2023
AHDB sector cost:
Total project value:
Project leader:
University of Nottingham

About this project

The Challenge

Although the UK sheep industry is the largest producer of lamb meat in Europe, it faces significant challenges around profitability and sustainability. The industry is currently heavily reliant on support payments, which is leading to increasing pressure to improve efficiency. Currently there is a lack of data collection and utilisation within the UK sheep industry compared to other livestock sectors. This can result in significant amounts of uncertainty when decisions are being made on farm. The utilisation of data collection, used in conjunction with a whole farm model can reduce this uncertainty, and allow farmers to make more informed management and nutritional changes.

The Project

This research utilises data collected by the AHDB Challenge Sheep Project, to produce predictive models for key stages of production. Data collected on farm are used to produce models, which are used to predict certain aspects of the production cycle. The key parameters which will be predicted within this research are ewe and lamb performance, reproductive performance and mortality. These predictive models will become the basis of a whole farm model which will be suitable to support on farm decision making and facilitate performance analysis. The whole farm model can be used on farm to predict the outcome of specific nutritional and management changes. We hope this research will encourage more sheep farmers to collect and make use of EID related data.


Tom Clough, University of Nottingham

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