BROILER PRODUCERS must up their game if they are to enter the Ross Club that rewards top results on farm now that the target EPEF for inclusion in the club has moved from 400 to 420.

Furthermore, farmers will have to record three consecutive crops in a row to qualify for club membership of the new standard, which is organised by Aviagen.

It marks how bird performance has improved since early 2012, when the club was first launched in the UK. In the beginning just three farmers were recognised – last year more than 400 farmers were initiated into the club.

EPEF is an equation used to measure the technical performance of a broiler flock and takes into consideration the feed conversion ratio (FCR), liveability (life expectancy), live weight and slaughter age of the bird.

In May Aviagen released its 2019 broiler performance objectives that highlight genetic progress made by its Ross 308 in the past five years.

The updated guidelines now suggest a target FCR for birds grown to 2.5kg of 1.53, down from 1.62 in its previous performance objectives. Breastmeat yield is also up 2.08% to 23.68%.

Stuart Thomson, head of UK sales and technical said of the winners to date: “They serve as a shining example to the entire industry of the heights that are possible through hard work, dedication and skilful husbandry.”