IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said the lamb trade continues to strengthen, with factories generally paying €5.30 to €5.40/kg and top prices of €5.50/kg paid this week for top quality lambs. In general, he said the factories are offering 20c/kg over quoted prices. He encouraged farmers to bargain hard and get full value for their stock. He said ewes are making up to €3.20/kg.
John Lynskey said quality lambs are very scarce and commanding a premium. He said most deals are up to carcase weights of 23kgs and more are being negotiated at 23.5kgs.
John Lynskey said Bord Bia is forecasting that hogget numbers will be similar to last year’s levels. In addition he said Bord Bia has pointed out that there are 1.7m fewer lambs born in New Zealand for this season.
Supports for sheep sector needed
On supports for the sheep sector John Lynskey said IFA is very strong on the need for increased targeted direct payments of €20 per ewe. He said IFA lobbied TDs and senators last week on this and support was very strong across all parties.
John Lynskey said IFA has made progress in securing TAMS grant aid for sheep farmers to be extended to cover fencing and also in securing additional payments under the Knowledge Transfer programme for farmers with joint enterprises such as cattle and sheep.
Under the Rural Development Plan amendments gone to Brussels, mixed enterprise farmers will receive up to €1,125 in payments if they join up two Knowledge Transfer groups. In addition, John Lynskey said, as part of the IFA General Election Submission, launched last week, IFA is seeking an increase in ANC payments for sheep farmers.