The UK sheep industry is often criticised for having a plethora of breeds and crosses. In truth, this is down to the varied terrain and climate in which breeds ahve evolved. It is characterised by a stratified three-tier breeding system related to altitude and the quality of grazing. The challenge is to speed the uptake of genetically superior recorded animals and explot new technologies to provide sheep that are more fit-for-purpose.
High Hopes - CLA report on the uplands is a follow-up to the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) report of July 2010, which convincingly documented the nature of the Uplands, their potential and the factors preventing the Uplands from achieving their potential. The CLA agrees with the broad thrust of the CRC report and most of its recommendations.
Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) England make up 17% of the total farmed area of England. The average LFA farm is 137ha, half owned and half rented and run by a 55 year old farmer with 33 beef cows and 308 ewes. His net income including Single Farm Payment, any diversification income and putting a charge on his family’s labour left him a loss of £3354 in 2008/2009. This was an improvement on the previous year when he lost £9,958.