By Farmers Weekly staff

BREEDING stock bids fell sharply at this weeks National Sheep Associations Wales & Border ram sales reflecting the current pressure on the sheep sector, with shearling ram averages down by 25%.

The downturn was “predictable” says the NSAs John Thorley who adds breeders had anticipated the fall given the current lamb price.

No breed can be singled out as an example, but prices achieved for ram lambs appear to have been affected strongly. Mr Thorley agrees that flockmasters could be mirroring dairymen who are generally willing to only pay more for stock which are ready to perform.

Suffolk shearling rams averaged £276.10, down £89.40 on last year.

Similarly, Texel rams were down £77.32 to average £241.59, and Charollais were back £90.72 to level at £304.62.

While the breeding sale picture looks gloomy, it avails an opportunity for producers to invest in fresh stock, adds Mr Thorley.

“For those looking to ensure they have a young flock its got to be good news. Yes, weve hit a trough, but industry is shaping up and that must be taken into consideration.”