High feed bills and late lambing likely result of early snow

Crofters and farmers could be facing a double-whammy of high feed bills and late lambing following the early cold snap.

The recent heavy snow has led to concerns producers may have to endure a repeat of last year, which saw feed prices soar as demand rose during the lengthy cold winter.

Fast-forward to this winter, and those with livestock have been forced to start feeding their animals sooner than they normally would.

There have also been fears the cold weather could hamper tupping on the crofts, which could result in lambs being born later next year.

Shetland’s NFU president Kathleen Sinclair estimated the cost of feed had risen by around 10 per cent since last year.

“This is the time of year folk put out their tups, and feed costs are up from last year,” she said. “Folk are having to feed silage, and if you’re going to feed silage from November there could be a shortage.”

She said the conditions “can make lambing late”, which could mean smaller, less lucrative lambs, going to market next year.


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