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Focus on Sheep


With changing market dynamics and the uncertainty of Brexit, production efficiency and a good nutritional strategy will be key in 2019 as producers look at different flock scenarios:

Older ewes retained
- Higher plane of nutrition
More lambs for breeding
- Continued growth as well as production
• Flock consolidation
- Increase lambing %


Afbeelding: FOS Population graphic

Stable breeding ewe numbers are forecast for the UK in 2019 at 14.9 million head. Lamb numbers are forecast to decline by 6% (~1 million head), this is a result of the poor weather during 2018 lambing. This has a potential impact on slaughter numbers in 2019 as more lambs are retained for replacements and breeding.



Afbeelding: FOS Performance graphic

2018 has highlighted the importance of nutrition for good lamb performance. Low grass availability, caused by the drought, reduced carcass weight and required level of finish. Having a feeding strategy in place to match your finishing system and using high quality forage and concentrate feed will maintain target lamb performance; >350g/head/day on intensive systems and >150g/head/day on extensive systems.



Afbeelding: FOS Production graphic

2019 lamb numbers and slaughterings are expected to be lower than previous years. It is also likely that the percentage of lambs slaughtered between January and May will reduce. This may benefit rapid finishing systems for early lambing flocks while later lambing flocks will need to look at more cost effective growth and feeding strategies as more lambs enter the market later in the year.



Afbeelding: FOS Forage chart