SheepSheep Reports

Sheep Council Report March 2021

Sheep in Wicklow

Market Report 

  • Lamb Price: QA hoggets are making €6.85 to €7.00/kg with higher deals for larger lats and groups. Cull ewe prices are ranging from €2.80 to €3.20kg in general 
  • Supplies: Hogget supplies are tight. The kill to-date is back 18,252 or 6% on 2020 with the total kill back 27,258 or 8% 
  • Market Conditions; Lamb have performed very well in the supermarket trade throughout the year. Factory demand is strong with numbers remaining tight. Competition between factory agents and wholesalers in marts is ensuring mart prices are easily keeping pace and in cases surpassing what factories are offering some farmers. 
  • Increased QA Bonus: IFA continue to pursue an increase in the QA bonus to 30c/kg and have discussions with Bord Bia and factory representatives on the issue  
  • Farmers are encouraged to sell hard while moving hogget’s as they become fit. 
  • IFA publish lamb price updates twice weekly and all of the latest data is available at 
  • Weekly kill data: 

Sheep Welfare Scheme  

  • IFA called on the Minister to address the issue of new entrants to the scheme and have DAFM on the issue 
  • New entrants who entered the scheme since 2016, and who were still in the process of building their flock numbers in 2017, must be provided with a later reference year that reflects the full level of activity on their farms 
  • New entrants who opted not to join the scheme since 2016 must be provided with the opportunity to join the 2021 scheme in recognition of the prohibitive impact of the reference period methodology for farmers entering the sector 
  • New entrants who began sheep farming in 2020 to be provided with a rolling reference number for the period the flock is being established. 
  • IFA are seeking acceptance of the principal that new entrants are given time to fully develop their flock numbers while participating in the scheme 
  • IFA continue to pursue €30/ewe payment 

Dog Control 

  • IFA launched the nationwide ‘No Dogs Allowed’ campaign to create awareness of the damage uncontrolled dogs are doing on farms and highlight for Government the inadequacy of current controls on dog owners 
  • ‘No dogs allowed’ posters were provided to farmers in each county through their sheep committee representative 
  • Committee members have promoted the campaign on social media outlets and regular print media and radio. 
  • The campaign has gained huge traction in the media through the work of the committee including with media outlets in the UK and is a critical step in the process to get Government to put in place the appropriate legislation and controls for dog owners 
  • Despite repeated requests, local authorities have failed to put appropriate measures in place, and dog owners refuse to take responsibility for their pets. 
  • The lack of appropriate sanctions as a deterrent to this behaviour and the difficulty in bringing those to task is also contributor to incidents not being reported as farmers have lost confidence in the willingness of the authorities to deal with this issue 
  • IFA have called on the Government to put serious resources into microchipping and an adequate dog warden service. All dogs are legally required to be micro chipped and have a licence however this is not being enforced. 
  • IFA have called for a national ownership database for all dogs that allows those responsible for them be identified. 
  • IFA have called for appropriate sanctions to act as a deterrent for those who allow their animals to cause this devastation on sheep farms and for resources to be put in place to enforce these sanctions. 

Upcoming issues 

  • Ongoing ‘No Dogs Allowed Campaign’  
  • €30/ewe payment 
  • CAP 
  • Utilisation of €100,000 fund to investigate outlets for wool 
  • Develop Sheep Industry Working Group 
  • National strategic plans  
  • Ongoing contact with Bord Bia, lamb factories and MII to progress IFA’s calls to advance the Quality Assurance bonus to 30c. has consistently called on factories to increase the QA bonus to 30c/kg in order to fairly reward those in the scheme 
  • Ongoing contact with Sheep Ireland  
Sean Dennehy Chair Anna Daly/James Walsh Policy Executives Tomas Bourke Senior Policy Executive 

Related Articles