An overall figure of 1.30 lambs per ewe put to the ram is not what these brothers wanted – so what went wrong?

Low ewe BCS at mating and an infertile ram are among the likely causes – and the Sheils are trying to put things right

Out and about: Tim and Richard Sheil in a section of fodder rape being grazed by ewe lambs

James Doran

Tim and Richard Sheil’s farm on the Wexford-Carlow border suffered badly from the ‘green drought’ common in the south-east last year, with grass growth rates falling to extremely low levels in July and August.