Winter shearing: Inclement weather and poor grass utilisation is forcing earlier housing on highly stocked farms. Decisions on winter shearing are more in the balance this year due to wool prices being on the floor and not even being capable of making a significant contribution to shearing costs. However, there are numerous benefits to winter shearing that can more than account for the direct costs involved.

Teagasc research shows winter shearing has the potential to increase lamb birth weight in mid-season lambing ewes by 0.6kg without increasing lambing difficulty. This feeds into an increase in weaning weight by 1.9kg liveweight and reduces the age of lambs to slaughter by about two weeks.