Factories have been accused of undermining the lamb price with total disregard to sheep farm incomes.
IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy said the price-cutting tactics used by factories in the last two weeks had plunged the sheep sector into an income crisis.
Spring lamb quotes
Spring lambs are being quoted from a low of €5.50/kg to top prices of €5.80/kg including bonuses, according to the IFA.
In general, farmers are securing from €5.65/kg to €5.75/kg.
Hoggets are ranging from €4.60/kg to €4.80/kg.
Lamb prices and hogget prices are down €1.50/kg on this time last year, which is a price cut of €30/lamb, Dennehy said.
The losses are more than the net margin in a sheep enterprise, based on Teagasc’s national farm survey data.
Dennehy said it was a scandal that factories were paying more for cull ewes than they were for new-season lamb.
Members of the sheep committee are meeting with a number of the major factories to highlight the impact price cuts are having on farm incomes.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is to meet with the IFA on Tuesday 21 May to discuss the current situation faced by sheep farmers.
Bord Bia has also been contacted, with the IFA demanding it brings forward promotional programmes in light of the fact spring lambs are coming to the market earlier this year.
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