Swapping a traditional flock of 430 Mule and Romney ewes for Highlanders crossed to the Primera has improved output by 15% to 178% lambs reared, they’re quicker to finish and off all forage diets making for savings on creep feed costs. 

“We decided to change the system to later outdoor lambing with a hardier ewe in order to improve survival rate as well as prolificacy. Innovis was offering the genetics to do the job in the performance recorded Highlander, and they’re proving a success,” he explains. 

“We’ve graded up our Romneys over the last six years to pure Highlander status, over 90% of ewes now lamb within the first three weeks. We’ve noted the lambs have a much higher survival rate and in particular, they demonstrate a lot more vigour at birth.  

“We have also swapped our traditional native and Continental rams for the Primera meat sire. We are now starting to draw lambs at 40kg target weight in the first week in May, that’s 14 weeks earlier than previously, 80% were gone by November, 85% graded R or better and they all finished off forage - grass, followed by access to turnips and haylage from November. Previously we have used expensive creep feed. In fact, we were left with just 40 lambs to sell on to the store market in January, a vast improvement on previous years when we could have up to two or three times that number of lambs left in the new year.” 

Tom Besent has additionally focused on improving forage management. “I now shut up more fields for hay or silage to prevent heading grass that reduces quality, I use the mower instead of topper to improve quality, and we are drilling 18 acres of turnips none this year too dry,” he explains. “I also work closely with Synergy Vets to improve all round flock management and that now includes doing faecal egg counts.” 

He adds: “Last season we tupped a percentage of Highlander ewes to the Abermax meat sire, the lambs are on growth target and we expect them to finish well.”

Our Mission 

‘To become the world leader in sheep breeding technologies’ 

Our People 

Our staff are a key ingredient in Innovis’ success. Our geneticists, breeding programme managers and technical sales advisers are experienced industry professionals and our administrative teams provide the infrastructure which enables us to service our customers from an efficient and cost-effective base. 

Our technical sales advisers are based all around the UK, sharing their technical expertise and experience, consulting with farmers looking to alter their business and potentially introduce Innovis genetics on farm. If you would like to get in touch with your regional adviser, find them here (link to sales team)  

Our Centres 

Innovis’ headquarters are in Aberystwyth, Mid Wales from where we operate our centralised administration. 

Our nucleus breeding flock is based at Southfield Farm in Hawick in the Scottish Borders.   

GTC East 

An established dedicated pig centre for over 15 years, GTC East operates a large-scale operation, with a capacity for 130 breeding boars on a high health bio-secure site. GTC East exclusively supplies Hermitage, one of the biggest suppliers of Artificial Insemination (AI) to the pig industry in the UK. The GTC East centre, based on the east coast of England, is part of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and Red Tractor Scheme. 

If you would like further information about Innovis, please contact us. 

Contact Innovis

Email: enquiries@innovis.org.uk or complete our contact form

Innovis Ltd, Peithyll, Capel Dewi. Aberystwyth, Wales, UK SY23 3HU.

Tel.: 01970 828236