12 May 2000

MAY HOPES BANISH DAMP

After a soggy April, many of you will hope that May will be drier so you can take off your wellies and go to work in more comfortable footwear.

In many ways April has put a damper on spirits; new season lamb prices have not met expectations; grass growth slowed; and lambing outside was tough.

Well at least May is here now, and much that was positive in March remains so now. Price prospects still look better, which is welcome news for finishers. In this Update one leading sheep consultant suggests pushing on March-born lambs with creep feed to avoid the mid-season price drop.

For this to work producers will need fast growing lambs. These may be more attainable in future as computed tomography (CT) scanning becomes a part of SRS schemes. According to a leading genetic expert, this will hasten their progress, with concurrent benefits for commercial flocks buying SRS tups.

But good genetics wont help your lambs grow fast if youre worming policy fails. We look at ways of gut worm control with one independent sheep vet, who suggests that closer attention to ewe dosing policy may lead to savings on anthelmintics.

Or if youre looking for a more immediate cash boost then why not enter our Sheep 2000 essay competition and win £500. All you have to do is send us your views on how to put the sheep industry right.

After a soggy April, many of you will hope that May will be drier so you can take off your wellies and go to work in more comfortable footwear.

In many ways April has put a damper on spirits; new season lamb prices have not met expectations; grass growth slowed; and lambing outside was tough.

Well at least May is here now, and much that was positive in March remains so now. Price prospects still look better, which is welcome news for finishers. In this Update one leading sheep consultant suggests pushing on March-born lambs with creep feed to avoid the mid-season price drop.

For this to work producers will need fast growing lambs. These may be more attainable in future as computed tomography (CT) scanning becomes a part of SRS schemes. According to a leading genetic expert, this will hasten their progress, with concurrent benefits for commercial flocks buying SRS tups.

But good genetics wont help your lambs grow fast if youre worming policy fails. We look at ways of gut worm control with one independent sheep vet, who suggests that closer attention to ewe dosing policy may lead to savings on anthelmintics.

Or if youre looking for a more immediate cash boost then why not enter our Sheep 2000 essay competition and win £500. All you have to do is send us your views on how to put the sheep industry right.