Harvest 2020 target may be worth less than cost
Published 04/12/2013 | 02:30
What a difference from last year, with more than 75pc of lambs sold and without a big bill for meal to pay. This time last year we had less than 50pc of lambs sold after feeding expensive meal to most of them before slaughter.
The price per kilo this year was more or less the same as last year but the kill weight has been very slow to get up over 21.5kg.
When you are selling lambs after September it can be hard to have enough of a fat cover at a carcass weight of less than 21.5kg, especially with Belclare-cross lambs. The good news is we are getting paid to 22.5kg this week.
There is a good chance we will get near the €100 mark. The remainder of the lambs are on fodder rape which has grown on well since sowing after spring barley.
I am glad I sprayed off the barley that came up in the crop because I have seen some fields that were not sprayed and there is more barley than fodder rape there now.
I will feed some meal to these lambs and sell them as they become fit. If there is any fodder rape left we will graze it with ewe lambs which we hope to keep out on some saved grass with round bales of silage and some concentrates to the smaller ones.
This year our ewes are all still out on grass and fodder beet tops. The ewes on grass are nearly finished, they will be moved onto tops next week and should have enough to keep them all outside until before Christmas. Last year with poor ground conditions there was very little value in these fodder beet tops.