IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy has indicated that hogget finishers are now in a serious loss making situation.
Mr Murphy pointed to the fact that farmers needed to see a “significant and immediate” improvement in prices and overall market conditions, and said that store lambs and finished hoggets – at this time of year – were a “critical component” of the Irish sheep sector.
“In the current market climate, there will be a lot of focus on processors and lamb imports, and the latest information showing imports from Great Britain into Northern Ireland is a worrying market trend,” he added. “At current prices, finishers are struggling to cover their costs, taking account of the substantial increase in feed prices this year. In addition, the severe weather and wetland conditions have restricted feeding options and impacted negatively on lamb thrive, all adding to costs.”
The Leader understands that the IFA in in the proces of organising a round of meetings with processors and retailers in repsect of the matter and more details will be released in the coming weeks.