A new EBLEX report shows the top third of non-SDA sheep producers are achieving a net margin £30/ewe higher than the average.

In both lowland and less favoured area (LFA) breeding flocks, higher output accounted for more than a one-third of the net margin difference between the average and the top third, according to the EBLEX Stocktake report.

Lowland sheep flocks averaged a negative net margin of -£12.65/ewe and LFA flocks £-15.81/ewe, compared with a top third at £18.34/ewe and £13.96/ewe respectively.

In lowland breeding flocks, higher output was achieved with more lambs born and reared, fewer empty ewes, higher daily liveweight gain and higher sale weights, while LFA breeding flocks’ better performance was driven by more lambs reared and lower replacement rate and cost.

Top SDA flocks achieved positive margins but the majority had negative margins.