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Industry on the rise despite weak economical viability
A survey aimed at mapping Swedish sheep producers’ attitudes regarding sheep farming and their future plans for their businesses was conducted in 2012.
The survey results show that sheep mainly are held for the purpose of targeted grazing followed by working with animals. The majority of the producers do not regard financial gain as a reason for being a sheep producer. However, producers with larger flock sizes (more than 49 ewes and rams) consider financial gain as a motive to a greater extent than smaller producers. The same attitude concerning financial gain can also be found amongst younger producers.
About 78 % of the Swedish sheep producers plan to maintain or increase their number of sheep within the next three years. Producers planning to decrease the number of sheep or wind up their operations are mainly producers with smaller flock sizes (1–49 ewes and rams). Consequently, the average flock size is expected to increase. In addition, young producers are optimistic about the future; about 90 % of the producers younger than 45 years plan to increase or maintain the number of sheep.
The majority of the producers produce only lamb and mutton, 23 % respectively 3 % of the producers state that they beside meat also produce sheepskin and wool. Most producers producing sheepskin for sale belongs to the age group 45–64 years and it is mainly producers older than 64 years that produce wool for sale. Lambs are on average 6.7 months old at slaughter.
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Bilaga 1: Enkätfrågor fårskötsel