THE Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says the return farmers are receiving for
their lamb is not enough to cover production costs and an increase is needed to help sustain their farm businesses as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
UFU beef and lamb chair Pat McKay said: “Despite retail lamb prices increasing slightly in recent months, Northern Ireland farmers are not getting the full benefit of this due to rising production costs. They are not receiving enough of a return to cover production expenses never mind supporting a home and family. If the issue is not addressed, it could have a severe impact on local farming businesses and the sector as a whole.
“NI processors have been quoting £5.10-£5.15 this week, however they are still only paying up to 21kgs. Farmers need a return for lambs up to 22kg. It is in everyone’s best interests that NI processors work in a manner that instils confidence in our farmers, showing their support for the primary producer when they are evidently struggling with the increasing cost of production. It’s unfair to turn a blind eye to it and expect farmers to absorb the extra costs alone while producing the high-quality lamb processors and consumers ex-pect at the same time.
“Live markets have seen an increase in prices over the last few weeks and I urge farmers to consider all options available to them in order to maximise their returns.
“When selecting animals for sale or slaughter, batching an-imals according to live weight and condition can help generate a better return.
“The killing percentage for grass-fed lambs has been poor and farmers need to be careful when selecting.”
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