Enzootic abortion vaccine

A number of vets are advising of potential short-term supply issues with vaccines for chlamydial or enzootic abortion. There is product currently in the market with disruption expected in July and supplies returning to normal in August/September.

It is advisable for early lamb producers in particular who have their sheep on a vaccination programme, to speak with their vet to secure product. There are two products available – Enzovax and Cevac Chlamydia. Both products must be administered at least four weeks pre-mating. It is recommended to vaccinate sheep during the four-month period prior to mating, while ewe lambs intended for breeding may be vaccinated from five months of age.

Marketing hoggets

Factories have moved this week to reduce hogget prices, with cuts varying anywhere from 20c/kg to 50c/kg. Demand for hoggets in the coming weeks will be influenced strongly by lamb numbers coming on stream and market appetite for sheep leading in to the Islamic religious festival of Eid al-Adha (16-20 June). This will likely help demand and possibly stem the rate of hogget prices declining, rather than bringing about a significant change in fortunes on price. As such, it is worth considering your options on marketing any remaining hoggets. As touched on last week, there is also a greater spotlight on the age of hoggets, with prices negotiated depending heavily on the producer-buyer relationship.

Areas of natural constraint

For farmers who have yet to satisfy the minimum stocking rate requirement under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) of 0.1 livestock units (LU)/ha, it is important to note that there is a short period of just over two weeks to do so. Farmers must satisfy the 28-week consecutive period of a minimum stocking rate averaging equal to or greater than 0.1LU per eligible forage hectare. This is a change from the previous seven-month retention period. ANC applicants must also satisfy a minimum stocking rate averaging equal to or greater than 0.1LU per eligible forage hectare across the 12-month calendar year.

BISS amendments

The deadline for making amendments to your Basic Income Support for Sustainability application without penalty is midnight on 31 May 2024. Late amendments can be made up until 10 June, subject to a penalty of 1% per working day.

Sheep welfare scheme: The Department of Agriculture reports that 17,167 farmers applied to the National Sheep Welfare Scheme up to the closing date of midnight on 21 May 2024. The scheme will remain open for late applications up to 15 June 2024, with late applications subject to a 1% penalty per working day.

TASAH parasite control

There have been some queries recently questioning if the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) parasite control programme is available again in 2024. Animal Health Ireland advises that the programme is now complete and will not be continuing in 2024. Even though the programme is finished, veterinary practitioners will still be able to apply their skills and knowledge to individual farmers. Any cost, however, will be covered by the farmer. See animalhealthireland.ie for a list of vets.