Sheep Reports

Sheep Council Report November 2021

Market Report

  • Lamb Price: Lambs are making €6.90/7.00/kg. Cull Ewe prices are ranging from €3.10 to 3.30kg in general.
  • Supplies:  57,680 sheep were slaughtered during the week commencing 02/11/21  which is 5,852 ahead of the figures for the same week in 2020. Total sheep throughput since the beginning of the year has reached 2,250,156 which is a 5% decrease on the same stage last year. 
  • Market Conditions; The lamb price has steadily increased in recent weeks. There is strong market demand and supplies are scare which is driving the trade. The mart trade continues to perform well with prices strengthening as factory agents compete to secure numbers. 
  • Increased QA Bonus: IFA continue to pursue an increase in the QA bonus to 30c/kg and have had discussions with Bord Bia 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:


CAP Payments

  • Only genuine active farmers must be eligible to claim payments in the CAP. Multi-nationals and large corporations/companies must be excluded from CAP payments on all lands including forestry.

Sheep Improvement Scheme 

  • The scheme must have a funding allocation to deliver €30/ewe to all participant farmers, 
    • The proposed €20m/annum scheme with proposed payments of €12/ewe will only be available to 1.7m ewes, this is less than the numbers of ewes in the current Sheep Welfare Scheme.
    • Almost 1m ewes are left behind in the proposed new sheep scheme funding allocation.
    • With over 2.6m ewes in the country the proposed funding for the scheme will only deliver a payment of €7.70/ewe based on the most recent census figures.
    • The scheme must have a budget to deliver €30/ewe to all ewes in the country.
    • The current proposal lack ambition to provide the opportunity for participants to generate €30/ewe and must be amended through increased/updated costings and additional practical and beneficial measures. 
    • The reference period must reflect the actual levels of activity on farms. New entrants to the sector must be allowed time to establish their flocks while participating in the scheme and have this recognised in the reference numbers.
    • Following IFA’s rejection to the inclusion of membership of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme, this condition has now been removed from the proposals
    • The IFA Submission on the Presentations given to the CAP Consultative Committee relating to the CSP included a proposal to include shearing as an action in the scheme. This proposal must be included as a measure.
    • Shearing has become a very expensive on farm practice for sheep farmers due to the collapse in the wool market. This is a critical animal health and welfare measure for sheep farmers which is ideally placed for inclusion in the sheep scheme. Inclusion of this measure in the sheep scheme will deliver on a number of key objectives in the CAP. It will support farmers in a vulnerable sector, ensure best practice is followed in parasite control and the overall health and welfare of the flock while also ensuring wool, which is a natural product with many environmentally sustainable uses, is presented from farms in optimum condition for further use.
    • Genotyping of rams must not be a compulsory action in the scheme. Genotyping must be a voluntary/optional action available to farmers who wish to avail of it. 

Agri Environmental Scheme

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

Sheep Welfare Scheme

  • The Minister has confirmed to IFA the new reference numbers for scheme participants will be the higher number of the 2017 census figures or the original reference period for established flocks, new entrants who joined the scheme will be given 2019 as a reference year for the rolled over scheme in 2021.
  • This commitment requires additional funding for the scheme
  • Budget 2022 has an allocation of €19m for the scheme an increase of €2m to reflect the higher numbers of eligible ewes
  • IFA have also sought the facilitation of new entrants who opted not to join the scheme since 2016 in recognition of the prohibitive impact of the reference period methodology for farmers entering the sector
  • IFA are seeking acceptance of the principal that new entrants are given time to fully develop their flock numbers while participating in the scheme

Dog Control

  • IFA continue to call on the Government to put 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.

Electronic Payments from factories

  • IFA have met MII and sought the provision of Electronic Payments to farmers for sheep. (ETF)

Upcoming issues

  • €30/ewe payment
  • CAP
  • National strategic plans 
  • Ongoing ‘No Dogs Allowed Campaign’ 
  • Utilisation of €100,000 fund to investigate outlets for wool
  • Develop Sheep Industry Working Group
  • Ongoing contact with Bord Bia, lamb factories 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
  • Ongoing contact with Sheep Ireland 

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