Planning for 2013 is crucial after difficult summer for farmers
While lamb and beef prices have remained strong for most of this year, rising costs coupled with changes to production schedules forced on farmers by the poor summer could have an impact as we head into 2013, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.
“The dreadful summer of 2012 has been particularly difficult for farmers, and it is apparent that careful planning is essential if farmers are not to suffer next year,” said John Richards, HCC’s Industry Information Officer.
“There are, however, considerable obstacles to overcome in the months ahead including increased costs. For example, feed and straw are predicted to reach record levels,” he said.
Lamb and beef returns for farmers have been at high levels for long periods this year. Decisions to be taken over the next few weeks, however, could prove to be crucial for the winter period.
“2012 has been an unusual year with some cattle housed during June and many lamb producers being two to three weeks behind normal levels of production,” said Mr Richards. “Consequently it is important to take stock of the situation before the winter sets in.
“The difficult finishing conditions that have been experienced mean it is likely that many sheep farmers have more lambs on the farm at this time than in previous years. Careful planning for the coming months is therefore needed to ensure that any grass grown in the autumn is fully utilised. An inability to do this could impact on scanning percentage and next year’s lamb crop,” he said.
Reports suggest that farm inputs, such as feed and straw, are likely to be at record prices in coming months, which makes it more important than ever to ensure that farmers get the optimum impact from any additional supplements that are used, he said.
“Testing and analysis of silage needs to be undertaken, with feed rations calculated from the results. Higher quality forage should be kept for growing and finishing animals with the lower quality feeds used for maintenance.
“Also, any supplements should provide nutrients that the animals are deficient in and that the home grown forage does not provide,” said Mr Richards.Back to news listing