A shortage of wool dye products for sheep is expected to run into next year, the Irish Farmers Journal has learned.

Supplies of dye products, which are used for preparing sheep for shows and sales, have become extremely tight at agricultural merchants across NI in recent weeks.

Greyface Brown, a liquid dye, is no longer available in local stores. The same problem applies to all Cheviot Colouring Powders, a range of different dyes that are used on various breeds of sheep.

Both products are manufactured by Carlisle-headquartered firm Carrs Billington Agriculture Ltd and a recent licencing delay led to production of its dye products being temporarily suspended.


It is understood that the issue stems from a new regulatory system for chemicals which came into effect at the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021.

However, the firm intends to start production again in time for shows and sales in 2022.

There had also been delays with Bloom Additive and Purl Dip, two products which are commonly mixed together for dyeing wool and are both produced by Lincoln-headquartered company Battles.

However, production has re-commenced and limited supplies are available at some agricultural merchants.

There appears to be no problem with stocks of Showtime Wool Mix in local stores, although it should be noted that this product only tightens fleeces and does not add colour.