29 August 1997

Pre-sale check-up

SHEEP producers should assess lamb condition and consider forage availability before deciding to sell stores or finished lambs.

That is according to Cotswold-based independent sheep consultant Alastair Bird.

"Ensure there is enough grass for flushing and tupping ewes, that is the priority from mid-September onwards. In some areas, particularly the eastern Cotswolds, there has been little rain and grass is in short supply. In this situation, sell lambs as stores."

Producers with roots and stubble turnips may be best to keep lambs and finish them, rather than rushing to take advantage of good store prices, he says.

"The store market is buoyant; those producers buying stores must have some reason to have confidence in the finished price."

Where there plenty of forage for ewes, but not enough for the entire lamb crop, producers should divide lambs into groups to ensure adequate forage availability. &#42