12 Jul 2012

Ewe scanning rates better than previous year

2:24 pm on 12 July 2012

Anecdotal evidence of ewe scanning results from many sheep farming regions suggests lambing percentages for the current season will be better than last year.

Rob Davison from Beef and Lamb NZ's Economic Service says it appears ewe scanning rates around the North Island are up between five and 10% on last year.

He says the lamb crop should be back up to near record lambing percentages next year provided there is a good spring this year.

Mr Davison says in the South Island, particularly greater Canterbury, there have been good lamb scanning percentages.

But Southland, where there was a very dry spell, farmers have been commenting that there are a lot more singles and their scanning percentages are back on last year.

Mr Davison says the key has been an improvement in feed and the condition of the sheep. There has also been more money in the system, which has seen more fertiliser going onto farms.

Central Hawke's Bay sheep and beef farmer Steve Wynn-Harris says he's tentatively optimistic about the scanning rates he's seen for his ewes.

He said the ultrascan result was the best in 20 years, which he attributes to an excellent season promoting good ewe condition.