Sheep Reports

Sheep Council Report May 2022

Market Report

  • Lamb Price: Spring lambs are making €8.00 to €8.40kg. Hogget’s are making €7.20 to 7.50/kg. Cull Ewe prices are ranging from €3.80 to €4.00kg in general.
  • Supplies: Total throughput to date is 898,917 head which represents an 17% increase when compared to the same period in 2021. Stronger hogget throughput in recent weeks has brought the total hogget kill to 142,593 above the same period in 2021. Spring lamb throughput is running 5,973 or 18% behind the same period in 2021.
  • Market Conditions; Lamb prices have remained relatively steady in recent weeks. Cull ewe trade in particular has strengthened on the back of increased demand for processed sheep meat in the UK and EU. Easter and Ramadan festivals created strong market demand for lamb over the past 6 weeks increasing prices 20c/kg during this period. Mart trade remains positive with factory agents very active in marts as supplies of hogget’s and spring lamb tighten on the ground. 
  • China continues to drive global sheep meat trade accounting for 42% of total sheep meat imports in 2021. New Zealand exports continue to be directed away from the EU to China/US and Asian markets creating positive market conditions for Irish lamb underpinning Irish sheep trade. 
  • Increased QA Bonus: IFA continue to pursue an increase in the QA bonus to 30c/kg and have had discussions with Bord Bia, MII and factory representatives on the issue.
  • Farmers are encouraged to sell hard while moving lambs as they become fit.
  • IFA publish lamb price updates twice weekly and all of the latest data is available at

  • Weekly kill data:

Dog Control

  • Minister McConalogue has confirmed to IFA he has committed to strengthen dog ownership legislation.
  • IFA ‘No Dogs Allowed’ campaigned was re-launched in February on the anniversary of the campaign and continue to lobby government to put serious resources into microchipping and an adequate dog warden service.
  • Committee members continue to highlight the issues and publicise the campaign in their local regions. 
  • Minister Charlie McConalogue and Minister Heather Humphreys launched the responsible dog ownership campaign in January.
  • IFA have called for a single 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.

Input Crises

  • IFA has written to Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue seeking immediate direct financial support for sheep farmers. 
  • IFA is seeking a direct payment for sheep farmers to offset the increased costs for feed, fertiliser and fuel on farms based of their levels of production.
  • All lands must be utilised to produce fodder including lifting restrictions on land under schemes such as traditional hay meadow and Low input grasslands.
  • Emergency catch/fodder crop incentive to maximise the volume of fodder produced in 2022.
  • Following IFA demands the Minister announced a €55m silage support package providing farmers with a €100/ha payment for all silage cut up to a maximum of 10ha.


Sheep Improvement Scheme

Specific issues raised with DAFM regarding the new SIS proposed terms and conditions

Early-stage support for Producer Organisations

Agri Environmental Scheme

  • The new Agri-environmental scheme must deliver €10,000 to sheep farmers.

Sheep Welfare Scheme 2021 and 2022

  • IFA secured new reference periods worth an additional €5m over the two years for sheep farmers participating in the scheme.

Nitrates Action Plan

  • IFA have called for the sheep sector to be entirety excluded from the NAP.

Electronic Funds Transfer

  • IFA met MII on March 4th and demanded EFT to be provided as an option of payment to sheep farmers.
  • IFA has written to each sheep processing plant demanding the option to have payments issued to farmers through EFT.
  • Committee members made contact with their local factory’s communications in December on the issue

Upcoming issues

  • Pursuing supports to of set the impact of the inputs crisis on sheep farms.
  • Brexit Adjustment fund.
  • Pre budget submissions.
  • Ongoing ‘No Dogs Allowed Campaign’.
  • Full National Sheep Committee meeting scheduled for May 10th.
  • Pursuing resolution to the loss in value of wool for farmers
  • Ongoing contact with Bord Bia, processing plants and MII to progress IFA’s calls to advance the Quality Assurance bonus to 30c/kg in order to fairly reward those in the scheme.
  • €30/ewe payment.
  • Ongoing contact with Sheep Ireland.
  • Develop Sheep Industry Working Group.
  • The export of breeding sheep to Northern Ireland.

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