Sheep industry surge

Better returns are enticing farmers back to the sheep industry.VICTORIAN farmers are returning to the sheep industry in droves thanks to an increase in sheep meat production and a surge in wool and lamb prices, according to the inaugural 2015 National Sheep and Wool Update.

According to the report, the recent trend of Victorian producers changing from wool breeds to dual-purpose sheep and prime lambs has continued, contributing to the increase in sheep meat production across the state.

The report, launched by Rural Bank and Rural Finance’s­ specialist insights team Ag Answers, provides producers and industry with a state-by-state analysis of the sheep and wool sectors.

Rural Bank and Rural Finance­ sales and business development general manager­ Andrew Smith said the increase in the number of sheep farmers throughout Victoria was a trend he hoped would continue.

“After decades of declining flock numbers, an increase in wool and lamb prices has regenerated and reinvigorated the Victorian sheep industry,” Mr Smith said.

“This recent upswing in interest in the sector is very encouraging,” he said. “While challenges remain, sheep producers have cause to be optimistic about the future­ of the industry.”

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