Water supply: Sheep can often perform satisfactorily without a continual water source where there is regular rainfall and a low dry matter in grass. With the continued dry spell forecast to last significantly longer and the dry matter in grass continuing to increase, it is important that a fresh source of water is now provided. This is critical where lambs are receiving concentrates, with an inadequate water supply depressing intake and performance and also increasing the risk of health issues such as urinary calculi.

Sheep welfare scheme: Some farmers participating in the sheep welfare scheme who recorded reduced ewe numbers on their sheep census were recently informed that scheme balancing payments were being reduced or denied. The scheme has generally been received very positively by farmers but one area where there has been criticism is the lack of flexibility to drop below your reference number when selling cull ewes. This is one area farmers would love to see addressed in any future schemes. This means that where you want to maximise your payment you must retain the number of ewes stated as your reference number throughout the year. 2019-born hoggets can be included in the ewe calculation regardless of whether they have bred lambs in 2020 or are being run dry.