Producers pay price after scoring some own goals
There are a number of sheep farmers intent on outdoing Brighton when it comes to scoring own goals. While the English Championship outfit managed to put the ball into its own net on three occasions last Sunday, many Irish lamb producers continue to let their lambs go overweight and over fat and thereby suffer a penalty to payments.
There is no excuse for allowing this to happen with the buoyant trade throughout the entire season. With feed-costs so expensive, the farmer has to realise that he is losing out on the double by also incurring a penalty for lambs that just have not been slaughtered when they were suitable.
The difference in price between grade one Irish lambs and grade two lambs going to France is between 50-60c/kg at the moment. It is noticeable this year that the factories are sticking much more rigidly to the maximum weight of 23.5kg compared to their willingness down through the years to increase this somewhat.
Some plants are, without doubt, making a fair effort to pull quotes slightly. Four out of the seven have reduced by 5-10c/kg since this day week. The ICMs have hit hardest with a drop of 10c/kg to a base quote of 510c/kg plus 6c/kg.
Despite this, however, reports doing the rounds yesterday morning were suggesting that some of the top prices being paid were coming from the southeast. Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kildare are back by 5c/kg to 515c/kg plus the bonus and in Kildare's case the extra 5c/kg for quality assured stock.
With no change from the Kepak plants, Hacketstown and Athleague remain on base figures of 520c/kg and 525c/kg respectively plus the 5c/kg. Moyvalley hold onto top spot with their unchanged all-in figure of 530c/kg.
The IFA's James Murphy said that despite some of the plants offering lower quotes, they are still having to and willing to pay up to 540c/kg to secure adequate supplies.
Kildare Chilling, while still setting the pace in the cull ewes at 310c/kg are back by 10/kg. The drop is similar from Dawn. This leaves them quoting 290c/kg and level with both Kepak's. The ICM plants remain at 300c/kg.