Price cuts to lamb ‘yet another blow for sheep farmers’

This week’s price cuts are yet another blow for sheep farmers, having been left out of any Covid-19 support packages thus far, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Commenting, ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara said: “The bad news just keeps coming for sheep farmers.

“Our markets have been impacted, wool prices are below the floor and processors continue to ignore the real costs associated with producing lambs and keep slashing prices.

On Monday quotes were coming in at €5.90/kg. By Tuesday they were at €5.75/kg and today the best I’m hearing is €5.40/kg.

“The simple fact is that it costs money to rear lambs to the highest specifications – and those costs are growing,” the chairman warned.

“We cannot continue with a situation whereby on a Monday you might have some chance to cover your costs but by Thursday, you haven’t a hope.

“Too many lambs are still coming in from the UK and the north and it’s a big part of the problem,” McNamara contended.

There is no level playing pitch when local sheep farmers are having to compete with lambs brought in from elsewhere and wreak havoc on prices.

McNamara reiterated his call for a Family Farm Support Package that would assist all family farms with the fallout from Covid-19.

“Sheep farmers were not excluded from the economic impact of Covid-19 and should not be excluded from any compensation measures,” the chairman concluded.

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