Sheep farmers resort to BURNING wool as price plummets
Sheep farmers are now resorting to burning wool after a huge price crash during the coronavirus pandemic has rendered it basically worthless.
The price paid for wool has plummeted by nearly half from 60p a kilo to 32p this year, with farmers claiming the situation is now so bad that they actually lose money when they sell it.
Previously, farmers would shear their livestock and take the remains to British Wool, previously known as the British Wool Marketing Board to sell.
But due to the virus, the price offered is now often worth less than the fuel the farmers would use to drive it to the depot.
They are dealing with the pile up by either burning the wool or using it for compost.
Wool from each year's harvest, or 'clip', is sold a year later by British Wool and this year the market was shut in February.
As a result, the board are struggling to clear a nine million kilo backlog, out of an initial 27 million kilos.
Mark Weekes, 55, a sheep farmer from Exeter, Devon, said despite the financial difficulties, they still had to shear all the sheep for welfare reasons.
British Wool said it hoped to emerge out of the slump in a stronger position, but needed the farmers support to be able to do that.
The National Sheep Association said it was disappointed to see the effect coronavirus has had on wool prices.