A £400,000 investment in a new cloud-based database, will provide Texel flockmasters increased information on breeders and the pedigrees and performance of potential purchases.

This new financial venture by the Texel Sheep Society sees the launch of the first phase of it's iTexel database for the collection, storage, analysis and publishing of animal data within the breed before the Basco database is decommissioned early 2020.

Society chairman Roy Campbell said the new database is a key component of the society digital first strategy that will help breeders deliver the needs of commercial customers.

“Quick, easy access to animal information is essential in the modern breeding era. The iTexel database, rather than just copy our previous database, has innovative functions and will support both pedigree and commercial farmers providing them access to valuable information they need to help advance their breeding programmes.”

Society chief executive John Yates said the catalyst for creating a new database had been taking sole ownership of Basco Data Ltd, the previous database provider for the society, during 2017.

“In 2018 the society commissioned a technical audit of the Basco database and as a result it was obvious to the society’s board that the breed needed to source and secure funding for a next generation database specifically for the society using cloud-based software solutions. As a result, specialists Rezare Systems were commissioned to begin the build in April 2019.

“Basco Data Ltd will continue to operate the Basco database until it is decommissioned early in 2020 and is replaced with our next generation iTexel database,” he added.

Mr Yates added that the society is a data processing organisation, collecting, storing, analysing and publishing pedigree information for all registered British Texel flocks. On top of that, through its texelplus genetic evaluation service, the society represents one of the largest sheep breeding programmes in the UK that collects and disseminates significant volumes of trait performance data obtained from its membership, providing valuable information which benefits the entire supply chain, including the research community.

Today the society, manages the largest registry of Texel genetics globally and is the largest sheep society in Europe, producing sales catalogues for more than 10,000 animals a year, across 40 sales. This first release of the new database supports online sale entries, animal and breeder search functions and catalogue production.

Additionally, Mr Yates said the iTexel database will help the society continue it’s extensive research and development work within the breed, including the multi-national SMARTER - health and resilience and GrassToGas, feed efficiency projects.

“Continued R and D is essential to the future of the UK sheep industry and the Texel Society’s active engagement in these international projects, collaborating across the EU and five other non EU countries, will support the breed’s development and the advancement of science in livestock over the coming years to best fit the needs of the modern sheep sector.”