Project number:                    73601

Lead contractor:                   Promar

Partners:                                  Meatlinc Sheep Company

Start & end date:                   01 March 2009 – 30 October 2009

Actual end date:                    21 June 2010

 

The Problem:

Few ram breeders know how much it costs to produce a ram.  Increasing the profitability of ram breeders has been recognised as a target subject for BRP in 2009/10.  The profitability of ram breeders is vital for the sustainability of the sector, and to ensure that the value of performance recording is maintained.

 

Project Aims:

  1. To develop a method to allow pedigree breeders to cost their business
  2. To produce benchmarks for technical and financial performance, using the Meatlinc breeders as an example.

 

Approach:

The six Meatlinc breeders in the UK were used for this pilot project, as they have similar systems and genetics so the variables were reduced.  The current Promar costing system was used and an additional survey was developed to make realistic estimates of labour, including preparation, time at shows and transportation.  To deal with commercial and pedigree flocks lambing at different times on the same farm, the focus was on the pedigree flock(s) but some details were collected on the commercial flocks for allocation.

 

Results:

The total costs of rearing a Meatlinc breeding ram are £354.35. This was calculated by identifying the average cost of rearing all lambs in the pedigree flock to the end of October, and then adding the costs of rearing the ram from this date to the point of sale.  The average cost of rearing a lamb in the Meatlinc pedigree flocks is £165.42 (compared to £72.50 in Business Pointers).  The economies of scale, higher replacement costs, feed and forage costs, and labour costs were the main reasons. The additional costs resulting from the pedigree status were calculated at £127.33.The major costs block is Society and Sales Commissions with 33% of all additional costs. This is followed by reproductive technologies (11%) and additional paperwork (9%).

 

Planned activity:

  • Report made available to the Meatlinc Sheep Company and other pedigree producers
  • Promar have now developed the technique, so it can be used by other breeders or breed societies.