Jolyon Higgs celebrates fairer lamb prices

Alex and I attended a Knowledge Transfer event held by Livestock Marketing. The format was a buffet lunch at a producer member’s farm, followed by an address from three expert speakers on topics relevant to lamb production. We departed with lots to think about and found it to be an informative three hours. After the talk on foot rot by Catherine Nakielny, I should remove the foot rot shears from the sheep shed!

The first lambs have gone to Waitrose and the price a kilo was 16% up on the first lambs sold in 2010. This is causing retailers problems but, from our point of view, it is satisfying to receive a price that rewards the hard work and expense that goes into lamb production. Shearing is complete and we anticipate a better price than in the last few years. I have forward purchased next year’s nitrogen at between £315 and £320/t; this compares to £210 for this years.

All lambs have been treated for blowfly, pasteurella and clostridial disease. With our scattered fields, I find the product I use for blowfly gives us peace of mind for the rest of the summer. However, I am sure that, as we no longer dip, lice have flourished and we will have to treat in winter.

On Gower, Tom is pulling wild oats and generally getting ready for harvest. The Opico grain drier has had a major overhaul, so we will probably have a dry harvest.

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