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As we continue to move through these uncertain times, making business decisions can be difficult and predicting what future challenges lie ahead are near impossible. Our Market Intelligence team have been working hard to pull together an Agri-Market Outlook based on the most up-to-date intelligence from experts across the agri-food industry. It analyses farming prospects for the coming 12-18 months and explores the longer-term impact of economic and policy drivers on industry. The team have explored everything from Covid-19 to the unusually dry spring restricting grass and crop growth - I hope you find it useful. 

Even in normal times farming can be isolated, but given the additional market and financial pressures, we recognise that there is increased strain on people’s mental health and well-being right now. We’ve teamed up with key farming charities to give you specialist advice in this area to help you provide support to your farming team, work colleagues, family members and help your personal well-being. There is a series of six mental health and well-being webinars arranged, starting this Wednesday (8 July) and running for six consecutive weeks. Each session will cover different topics around the theme of mental health and there will be advice on where to go for further support and guidance. Please check them out, along with our other scheduled webinars which are all free for levy payers to attend.

Following on from the success of the #MakeItSteak campaign, which reached millions of households across the UK, AHDB is now launching the
#MakeItLamb campaign, in partnership with Quality Meat Scotland and Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales). The campaign aims to inspire people to cook lamb as a delicious, quick and easy meal. Focusing on a range of lamb dishes, the advertising will feature across several platforms, including TV on demand, radio, print, social media and online, and will also be supported by well-known TV presenter and chef, John Torode. You can join in with supporting the campaign by sharing your favourite lamb dish on Twitter or Facebook, using the hashtag #MakeItLamb.

Keep safe and best wishes,

Will Jackson

AHDB Beef & Lamb Sector Strategy Director


British lamb and tennis – what’s all the racket about?

Faced with a summer without Wimbledon, some of the biggest hitters in tennis are stepping up to the net for a novel tournament which combines the nation’s

love of the game with their love for lamb. All played out on social media, super talented chefs will pair up with a professional tennis player in a game of mixed doubles, to serve up an array of mouth-watering lamb dishes. Read more

Meat buying app gets upgrade

The increasingly popular Meat Purchasing Guide (MPG) app has been updated to include even more for its near 30,000 users. The free of charge app was launched by AHDB in 2013 and is specifically designed to make meat ordering quick and easy, while also providing new product ideas. Read more


Shoppers turn to butchers’ shops under lockdown

During the first 12 weeks of lockdown, British shoppers spent an extra £45m at butchers’ shops than in the same period last year. This increase, equating to a

volume uplift of 39% during the 12 weeks ending 14 June, came as people adapted to social-distancing rules by shopping locally and visiting large supermarkets less often. Read more

Tackling misinformation about red meat

Levy bodies have succeeded in reaching 17 million people through a campaign set to help provide a more balanced perspective to public discussion around the health properties of red meat.

The collective initiative has undertaken a range of activity over the last 12 months to help counter misinformation in the media on the role of red meat in the diet, providing reassurance and evidence-based information to consumers regarding the important health benefits beef, lamb and pork provide. Read more

Consumer marketing news

New Campaign Urges Consumers to ‘Make It’ with Lamb

The first phase of a GB-wide campaign encouraging consumers to ‘Make it’ with lamb has been launched this month. Delivered by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), it includes advertising through TV on demand, radio sponsorship, digital and social advertising as well as local news partnerships and is set to reach 75% of all adults (aged 15-64) in Britain.

Throwing his support behind the campaign is TV presenter and chef, John Torode, who will help share lamb’s unique flavour, high quality and versatility with consumers.

Further phases of promotion are planned for later in the year, responding to evolving market and retail conditions as the UK emerges from lockdown and begins to reopen venues for eating out. Read more
(image credit - 
Jane Sebire)


Markets & Prices

Latest AHDB outlook gives pointers to farming’s future

The impact of Covid-19, unusually dry weather and uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future trading relationships are all explored in this year’s Agri-Market Outlook. The AHDB has released its latest outlook based on the most up-to-date intelligence, combining feedback and insight from experts across the agri-food industry with AHDB sector specialists’ expertise. Read more

Lamb market update video

Lamb Market Update – July 2020

Watch now

Beef market update video

Beef Market Update – July 2020

Watch now


Industry news

The Woodland Trust large scale planting scheme

Planting a single tree has benefits for people, wildlife and the environment. If you manage a farm or private land, integrating trees can bring huge benefits – and there’s no need to take large areas out of production. They can help increase biodiversity, provide shelter, prevent soil erosion, reduce flooding and much more. The Woodland Trust offer funding and planning schemes to help you get started. Find out more


EU-UK trade negotiations

Following the first four rounds of EU-UK trade negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Presidents of the EU institutions met on the 15 July for a High-Level Conference to take stock of progress and agree on the way forward. The EU took note of the UK’s decision not to request an extension to the transition period, which in practice means the future UK-EU trade deal needs to be in place by the 31 December 2020, when the UK will be leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union.

Talks will continue but the apparent lack of progress is increasing concerns on the risk of not being able to have a trade deal by the end of the year, with some speculation around August being a turning point to assess whether an agreement is possible at all. Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC) keeps encouraging stakeholders in both sides to start preparing for any possible outcome. Read more


Latest research in reducing lameness in sheep

Summer is an ideal time to get on top of lameness to help prepare ewe flocks for a productive tupping period, ensuring lameness is not holding those lambs back from finishing and ensuring good animal welfare. Always talk to your vet at the start of any review to ensure the right diagnosis and for the most up to date advice on treatment and prevention. There are multiple causes of lameness in sheep but the most important are the infectious foot diseases, footrot and contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD). Read more

For further advice on sheep lameness, take a look at AHDB's Reducing Lameness manual for Better Returns

Got time for a few qustions?

‘Joint ill’ is a disease commonly affecting the joints of young lambs less than one month old. It causes severe pain and lameness, as well as significant financial losses to farms each year. This survey contributes to a project, funded by the University of Liverpool, AHDB Beef & Lamb and in collaboration with The Moredun Research Institute, which aims to find practical solutions for farmers to prevent joint ill. Your participation in this survey will help identify farm management practices which effect the risk of joint ill occurring on farms, and will contribute to new knowledge to help protect flocks. Take the survey 


Options for extending the grazing period this winter

There are several ways to reduce the housed period, such as deferred grazing or eliminate housing altogether through all grass wintering or outwintering on forage crops. Feed costs on brassicas can be as low as 62p/day per suckler cow and 8p/day per ewe.

The most suitable brassicas for grazing during the late winter months are kale, swedes and certain multi-graze rape/kale hybrids. Stubble turnips, grazing turnips and forage rape are less winter hardy, but are ideal for extending the grazing season to the end of the year. It’s not too late to plant – some of these can be sown up until September, weather dependant. For more information, see Using brassicas for Better Returns. If you’ve sown fodder beet this year, check out our webinar with Dr Jim Gibbs to learn how to get the most out of it.

Planning ahead for winter bedding

Now is the time to work out how much straw you will need for bedding and feeding over the winter in a worst-case scenario and calculate whether there will be a deficit. Read more



Mob grazing: A livestock farmer’s view

In this podcast edition Nicola Renison, AHDB Beef & Lamb’s regional manager, from the North West, talks to livestock farmer and consultant, Tom Chapman, all about mob grazing, including how he’s found it to benefit his own farm business. Listen now


The Livestock Information Programme (LIP) set to transform the future of traceability

The Livestock Information Programme (LIP) will deliver a new multi-species livestock information, identification and tracking service known as the Livestock Information Service (LIS). Listen now


8 July: Mental Health & Wellbeing series. Join AHDB and representatives from the DPJ foundation for the first in a weekly series of six webinars, supported by Co-op Farming & Food, focussing on mental health and wellbeing. This first session will focus on suicide awareness, risk factors, signs to watch out for, how to help someone who is suicidal and where to go to for support. Starts 20:00. Book now

9 July: Strategic Farm - decision making through challenging weather conditions. Starts 19:30. Book now

13 July: Skills: React, respond, recover - when things don't go to plan you need a robust contingency plan. Starts 19:00. Book now

15 July: Mental Health & Wellbeing series. Join AHDB and representatives from the R.A.B.I. charity for the second webinar in a series of six focussing on mental health and wellbeing, supported by Co-op Farming & Food. This webinar will focus on coping during financial hardship covering financial management advice, how to seek financial help and resources available for support. Starts 20:00. Book now

16 July: Outwintering options for sheep. Starts 19:00. Book now

20 July: GrasscheckGB - grass measurements at plate metering. Starts 13:00. Book now

22 July: Herbal leys – delivering livestock performance and environmental improvements. Starts 19:00. Book now

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