Almost two-thirds of sheep farmers plan to expand numbers over the next five years, an ICSA survey has revealed.
The poll of 250 flock owners was undertaken at the recent Sheep 2012 event at Teagasc, Athenry.
30% of respondents plan to hold numbers, while 39% said they would "expand slightly" and 24% said they aimed to grow numbers "substantially".
The focus at Sheep 2012 was on providing farmers with the most up to date technical information for improving farm efficiency and to increase the margin from sheep enterprises.
According to Teagasc there is a steady increase in net profit/hectare with any increase in lambs weaned.
The target for lowland flocks is to wean over 1.6 lambs per ewe.
So even when lamb prices are below expectations as they are this season the way forward is to increase the number of lambs sold per ewe.
Sheep farming today is a hi tech business which minimises labour and time using good fencing and appropriate handling equipment.
At Sheep 2012 there were several different farm workshops, giving advice on key selection decisions based on the ewe’s body condition, mouth, udder and feet.
Technical advice was also available on health vaccination, drenching, feeding requirements pre-mating, etc.
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