With the uncertainty of Covid-19 and Brexit continuing, production efficiency and a good nutritional strategy will be key in 2021.
The breeding flock are forecast at a steady 13.8 million head. The 2019 lamb crop was larger than previously estimated and as a result increases the estimate for the 2020 crop to 17.5 million head.
Longer term, the lamb crop is forecast to reflect changes in the size of breeding flock, although any exceptional weather events would change this, affecting lambing rates.
The importance of nutrition for good lamb performance has been key in 2020. Grass growth was good throughout the summer, however since then some fields have had more than enough rain his autumn.
Due to the rain, some fodder and cover crops are in a poor condition however other parts of the country are reporting plentiful supplies.
The forecast in July was that the 2020 meat production would fall by 7%. However with lamb slaughter rates running ahead of expectations, the latest figures only show a 4% decline.
Lambs have been coming forward for slaughter earlier than usual, in fact from June - September it was 5% higher (61,000 head). It is not surprising as farmers have been encouraged by high prices and the uncertainty over trading conditions with the EU next year.
New deal, new rules, new era for UK food and farming
The UK and EU finally reached a Brexit trade agreement to take us forward this year. As the situation and details develop AHDB are reporting the key changes that might effect you and your farming business.
AHDB's Senior Strategic Insight Manager, Sarah Baker has begun a blog which will inform and highlight some of the implications for our farming and food sectors.
To visit AHDB and read Sarah's latest article:
To ensure the best outcomes this lambing season, it is important to be prepared and have the right nutrition in place to help properly support ewe performance in the weeks leading up to lambing.
Father and son, Michael and Matthew Rees, farm at Cefngwyddil, Cross Inn in West Wales, running 1000 ewes; a mixture of Welsh Mules and Suffolk Cross Mules.
We have a wealth of expertise within our UK team including dedicated sheep, forage and nutritional specialists who can help you and your business.
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