More Welsh lambs meet market requirements

The Welsh sheep industry saw an increased number of lambs meeting market requirements in 2013, according to new figures from Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Of the lambs slaughtered in Welsh abattoirs in 2013, 59% hit the main markets’ targets for conformation and fat classification, compared with 57% in 2012.

John Richards, industry and market information officer for HCC, said: “The results show there has been an improvement over the last 12 months, while also highlighting that there is still some work to be done. There continue to be lambs marketed with excess finish, adding an avoidable cost burden to both the producer and processor.”

Another promising figure was a 4% drop in the conformation of lamb throughput classed as lower O grade, with the total standing at 14% the end of the year.

Richards added: “This is a positive development for both Welsh farmers and processors. There are many factors behind this improvement, including improved genetics in the Welsh flock.

“We are keen to work with the industry to encourage a further downturn in the number of lambs classed at lower grades or with excess finish, and encourage all farmers to attend a carcase selection training course, arranged by HCC. These sessions are an invaluable opportunity to meet buyers and discuss current market requirements, resulting in a clearer understanding of how to select the ideal lamb carcase.”

The carcase selection courses are free and anyone interested in attending should contact HCC on 01970 625050 or info@hccmpw.org.uk.

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