Improvement in Welsh lamb sector

A greater number of sheep farmers in Wales are covering the cost of production, according to new figures published by red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru.

While market returns have shown some improvement, leading to enhanced yields for the average Welsh sheep farmer, costs have also risen significantly since the last figures were compiled a year ago.

The average Welsh sheep farm now covers 101% of their costs, it is estimated, and the figures also show there is still a large discrepancy between the top-performing third of Welsh farms and the bottom third.

“We have excellent farmers in Wales who are experts in producing top-quality animals. Unfortunately, the one aspect of their work that they have very little control over is the price achieved by their livestock at market,” said HCC industry information officer John Richards. “Past experience has shown that the prices paid for livestock can alter dramatically due to external pressures outside the influence of the primary producer.

“That’s why now, when market returns for lamb are at a buoyant level, is the ideal time for all sheep farmers to look closely at their costs and where they may be able to make savings.”

The research was carried out by HCC thanks to funding received through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-13.

>>Welsh livestock rising, say officials

>>Italian meat supplier visits Wales

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