High lamb prices reflect farm costs

High lamb prices reflect the costs incurred by farmers, according to Yentrack Farm’s Rob McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy, who has bred sheep for 30 years, said costs for farmers are always going up.

“Everyone talks about record prices but every year we have record costs,” he said.

Everyone talks about record prices but every year we have record costs.

Rob McCarthy

“So if we're not getting record prices, we're going backwards. Anything we touch is going up; fertiliser, sprays, rates –  everything. We have to keep up with that.

“It’s the same theory as a wage earner needing a wage rise because their costs are going up. It's the same vicious circle.”

Mr McCarthy said as well as high lamb prices, wool prices had been in a good position.

He said there was no evidence of wool farmers turning to meat in an effort to increase their profits.

“The wool job is as good if not better than the meat. It has come up with the meat,” he said.

“For a lot of farmers if you're in wool, you're in wool. When wool is good as it is at the moment, people stick with it. 

“A lot (of farmers) have done (changed) in the past because wool has been down. There might be changes but no great swinging changes. Some wool blokes have put more meat on sheep so they are dual purpose.”