Defra June survey final results for 2019 released

Thursday, 19 December 2019

By Rebecca Wright

The number of lambs on UK farms on the 1 June 2019 is pegged at 16.7 million head, up around 50,000 head year-on-year, according to the Defra June survey. Naturally, since it is now December, many of these lambs will since have been slaughtered. AHDB has previously cast doubts over the results from the June survey this year, find out more about the number of lambs available for slaughter moving forwards in the AHDB December outlook.

There has been a divergence of trend between the nations of the UK. England and Northern Ireland have both recorded declines, whereas Wales and Scotland have somewhat surprisingly recorded large increases. Such divergence is unusual, adding to some of the doubts over the results.

The number of breeding ewes was down overall, with a significant 4% drop in those intended for entry into the breeding flock. At the time of the survey, the direction Brexit was taking was uncertain, and that may have affected some farmer intentions.

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