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Weaning and Stocking Rates Key to Irish Profits Last Year

28 August 2014

IRELAND – Higher weaning and stocking rates are the main difference between profit and loss, a study of Ireland’s lowland sheep sector has found.

Producing an extra 0.19 lambs from an extra 1.4 ewes per hectare distinguished the top third of businesses from the average in 2013.

According to Teagasc experts, this made gross margins on top farms €749, almost twice that of the average - €377.

Per ewe, this worked out leaving the best €48 better off at with €82 per ewe gross margin.

Moreover, the Teagasc analysis revealed that high achieving farms realised this as net profit, making €299 per hectare, due to variable costs being €9 lower.

Last year’s lowland sheep variable costs were mostly feed and fertiliser, with a third being feed at €25 per ewe or €18 per lamb weaned.

Fertiliser (€17), contractor (€12), vet/insemination (€10) costs were other main costs.

A Teagasc spokesperson said: “The average lowland sheep farm made a net profit of -€22 per ha compared to €299 per ha on the top third of farms.

“Examined on a per lamb basis, the cost of producing a lamb was €74 and €92 for the top third and average groups, respectively, not including ewe replacement costs.”


Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms.

Top image via Shutterstock

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