Low output identified
LACK of output – a low number of lambs sold – is the main reason for disappointing margins, according to Signets Peter Fairbank who manned the cost of production clinic at Sheep 98.
"On average, lowland flocks made a 12p/kg loss at net margin level. While the best performing flock made 37p/kg, the worst lost 62p/kg," he said.
"These figures follow the number of lambs reared; the best flock reared 217%, while the poorest reared only 112%. Increasing performance is therefore vital for boosting margins."
Variable costs also differed greatly – the lowest being 48p/kg, while cost for the flock spending most was 172p/kg. "The producer with the lowest costs was a good all-round performer, having trimmed all costs."
To help boost output, Mr Fairbank advised ensuring tupping is planned carefully. "Securing next years profit starts now – vaccinate and trim feet well before tupping, ensure ewes are at the correct condition score and that you have enough working rams."