Quotes ris­ing de­spite clean sheep saga

Irish Independent - Farming - - SHEEP RINGSIDE -

THE clean sheep saga con­tin­ues to rum­ble on, how­ever it is hav­ing no neg­a­tive ef­fect on prices.

As of yes­ter­day morn­ing prices for hogget were up in the ma­jor­ity of plants by 5-10c/kg, the ex­cep­tion be­ing Moy­val­ley who re­main on a flat €5.00/kg. The ef­fect is that most plants have closed up very sharply on com­bined base and bonus price of €5.00/kg.

The ex­cep­tion is Dawn Bal­ly­hau­nis who at €4.90+5c/ kg bonus are just slightly off the pace. Kepak Ath­league are on €4.95+5c/kg bonus while Kil­dare Chill­ing and the two ICMs are on €4.90+10c/kg.

There is also some move­ment on the cull ewe side with Kepak Ath­league lift­ing their base to €2.90, while Kil­dare Chill­ing was on €2.80+10c/kg QA. All other plants with an in­ter­est in the cull ewe trade are static at €2.80/kg.

Prices for lamb/hogget on the ground are re­ported as hav­ing strength­ened from last week’s €5.00-5.10/kg to €5.15/ kg with re­ports that €5.20/kg was paid where the sup­plier ticked all the boxes.

And the big­gest box to be ticked this week seems to be what constitutes a clean sheep. Depart­ment of­fi­cials seem to have upped the ante yes­ter­day with re­ports in­di­cat­ing that while a ma­jor­ity of plants were cop­ing with hav­ing to clip lim­ited num- bers, one plant was re­ported as al­most be­ing at a stand­still as num­bers into the hun­dreds were sent by depart­ment of­fi­cials to be clipped.

The lan­guage from fac­tory agent’s yes­ter­day morn­ing was colour­ful to say the least.

But while fac­to­ries seem to have no prob­lem sid­ing in pri­vate with the farm­ing com­mu­nity on this is­sue, they are say­ing lit­tle in pub­lic.

This clean sheep ques­tion has to some de­gree got­ten out of hand in that there is no em­pha­sis on how many sheep are go­ing through the sys­tem with­out dif­fi­cul­ties. One fac­tory buyer told me that out of nearly 2,000 sheep due to be pre­sented yes­ter­day up to 1pm, at that point 20 or 1pc had been sent home.

The IFA have been highly crit­i­cal of the dis­rup­tion caused by this more rig­or­ous im­ple­men­ta­tion of depart­ment reg­u­la­tions.

And John Brooks of the ICSA claimed that “chang­ing the rules mid­way through the win­ter pe­riod with­out con­sul­ta­tion and with­out a proper strat­egy is just reck­less.

“We need Tea­gasc, Bord Bia, the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture along with sheep farm­ers and meat fac­to­ries work­ing to­gether to find so­lu­tions.

“But this must be done well in ad­vance of the win­ter fin­ish­ing pe­riod. Sim­ply screw­ing farm­ers with de­duc­tions is no so­lu­tion.”

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