Lamb numbers on the rise

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

Relevant offers

Farming

Townies need better understanding of farming Farmers must tighten belts to cope with cashflow Low fine wool prices force merino farmer rethink 7 Days team to bring funny farm to Fieldays crowd Townie Michael McCombs is Taranaki's dairy trainee of the year Best Foote forward wins dairy manager award Wages breaches found in dairy farm investigations Cow steroids in waterways change fish courtship dance James Cameron snaps up organic empire Top farm workers command high salaries

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

rural digi editions 4/9

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online