When it comes to price, sheep farmers are “really only getting what we’re entitled to get with the last number of years,” Donal Monaghan, a sheep farmer from Galway, has said.

He told the Irish Farmers Journal at the Teagasc sheep open day in Athenry last weekend that the last few years in the sheep trade have been really positive, prices have finally caught up and the markets are good.

Monaghan said he will be applying for the €100/ha silage scheme.

“Anything that can help with farmers’ situations, with the way things are with costs, we may as well take the offer up,” he said.

Tom Holmes from Clare said the silage scheme is a good scheme for farmers, but that it’s only for 10ha and “that probably isn’t enough for a lot of people”

“Expenses have been very high for making silage this year, fertiliser and inputs have gone through the roof,” he said.

Galway sheep farmer Martin Murphy said that the sheep trade is quite good at the moment but that he heard of lambs being cut 20c and that it is disappointing. “I’d actually urge people to go to the marts with their sheep, because there’s a very good trade there for all types of sheep,” he said.

Quotes from the day

  • Michael Gottstein, head of sheep knowledge transfer at Teagasc: “What is anthelmintic resistance? When the worms survive a wormer that should kill them.”
  • Orla Keane, animal health research officer at Teagasc: “Resistance to Ivermectin has doubled in last 10 years. There’s two ways it can arrive [on your farm]- spontaneously and in sheep.”
  • Damien Costello, sheep specialist at Teagasc: “There’s often debate about which is the best breed - by and large it boils down to what breed performs best on your hill.”
  • Noirin McHugh, beef and sheep research geneticist at Teagasc: “Growth rates from five-star rams are better than a one-star ram, they’re slaughtered eight days earlier and there is an €18 lift in profitability per ewe.”
  • Philip Creighton, enterprise leader for sheep at Teagasc: “If I spread high nitrogen and let a lot of grass build up, there’s no light getting to the bottom of sward and that clover will die. Good grazing management is needed.”