02 March 2015 | Online since 2003



13 December 2012|News,Sheep

Sheep sector must retain confidence, NFU warns


Confidence must be maintained within the sheep industry if it is to exploit global demand for British lamb, the National Farmers' Union has said today.

Sheep producers have endured a challenging year due to a poor summer, longer finishing period and a marked decrease in lamb prices.

But according to Charles Sercombe, NFU livestock board chairman, these are short term factors and it is essential that processors and retailers take a long term view of the market and avoid sending out further negative signals to farmers.


"The national flock is showing signs of increasing after many years of declining numbers but producer confidence is finely balanced," said Sercombe.

"British lamb is in demand on both home and export markets but farmers need the confidence to invest in the future if we are to exploit these opportunities.


"The boom bust cycle of sheep pricing is not in the interests of the farmer, processor or retailer and sending out negative price signals is damaging to the entire sector. The poor summer and rising input costs are continuing to erode farm margins."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) also warned the sector that Schmallenberg virus could return in 2013.

Reports from Europe about the effects of the disease in its second year led the National Sheep Association (NSA) to look for ways in which the UK could better equip itself to deal with the midge-borne virus.

"Anecdotal reports from France and other areas of Europe suggest Schmallenberg may be causing more problems in its second year than expected, possibly because livestock does not develop the level of immunity anticipated" said Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive.

HSBC Head of Agriculture Allan Wilkinson said the agricultural sector needs to concentrate on 'the basics' in order to preserve margins in 2013.

Wilkinson warned that farm incomes are expected to plateau next year, which means farmers must place extra emphasis on costs of production and enterprise margins.

UK beef production is unlikely to recover from current low levels in 2013 and the weak economy both in the UK and abroad could dampen prices.

"Although home sheep consumption continues to fall, exports are rising and we expect to see growth in sheep flocks next year. However, 2011 may prove to have been the peak in the current profitability cycle" he said.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


17 February 2015
Branch Administrator
Day to day responsibilities will include organising, checking and inputting Engineer timesheet information, maintaining custo...

12 February 2015
Senior Adviser (Approvals) - 1 Year Fixed Appointment
The post holder reports directly to the Senior Veterinary Advisor and will predominantly focus on work relating to meat hygie...

22 February 2015
ER / Employee Relations Manager
This is working for the UK's number one dairy business and a company who believe in encouraging success - both business and p...

24 February 2015
Apprentice Butcher
This is a great opportunity to join a rapidly expanding high end meat and dairy production business and learn from the best.....

27 February 2015
Park Supervisor
We are looking for a Park supervisor to join our current team of management.Strong possibility for training and promotion ont...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...