Lamb numbers on the rise

JON MORGAN
Last updated 14:49 28/11/2012

Relevant offers

Farming

Fonterra sells cream of the crop UHT milks to Chinese Stories from the back country of New Zealand Quarter of farmers report stock being stolen Sheep the future of farming for NZ hills Police investigating theft of 70 hay bales from farm near Wanaka Where the wildings are: A never-ending fight for the high country A message from farmers to the new Prime Minister Hauraki Gulf plan puts onus on industry to ensure best practice Clutha mayor blasts Lincoln University for "sickening situation" at Telford Satisfaction and relief among Fonterra shareholders

Almost two million more lambs are on farms this spring, according to Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Economic Service.

The extra lambs come after ewes were in top condition for mating, economist Rob Davison says.

However, this season's 26.9 million lamb crop is still the third-smallest since the early 1950s. Only the previous two years were lower.

This means that after replacements are kept, 20.5m lambs will be killed for export, an increase on last year's 18.9m. The average carcass weight will be 18.3kg.

Davison says slightly more ewes were mated in autumn at a time when there was plenty of feed. This lifted the country's average lambing percentage to 123 per cent from 119 per cent.

While there will be more lambs, lamb prices have plummeted this year to $5-6 a kg early in the season, compared to more than $8 a kg this time last year.

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay.co.nz

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online