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2015 UK Lamb Crop Expected to Decline from Last Year

26 October 2015

UK - The provisional results for the June census indicate a one per cent fall in the size of the UK sheep flock, with numbers in most categories lower year on year, according to AHDB Beef & Lamb.

The number of lambs under the age of one year on farms as of June 1 gives an indication of the size of the year’s lamb crop, as only a relatively small proportion of lambs will have been slaughtered by this point.

The data shows that the number of lambs under one year fell by one per cent compared to the previous year at 16.8 million head, suggesting a decline in the size of the UK lamb crop in 2015.

However, this does not include updated figures from Scotland or Wales, which are due to be released later in the year. The latest slaughtering statistics from DEFRA also suggest this fall may not reflect the true situation, as clean sheep slaughterings since May have been up five per cent on the previous year.

Numbers sold as stores were also up by the same percentage in the period, further suggesting there are more lambs on the ground this year.

The size of the breeding flock has declined by less than one per cent to 16.0 million head according to the data. This followed a one per cent fall in the number of ewes intended for further breeding being offset by a four per cent increase in the number of ewes intended for first time breeding.

However, though these figures are provisional, they could be questioned following the low level of adult sheep slaughterings for the past year.

TheSheepSite News Desk Read more AHDB Beef and Lamb News here

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