Farmers forced to burn wool as cost falls by nearly half during coronavirus pandemic

THE cost of wool has dropped so low during the pandemic some farmers are having to burn it.

The price has fallen by nearly half from 60p a kilo to 32p this year.

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Previously, farmers would shear their sheep and sell it to British Wool but it is now often worth less than the fuel used to drive it there.

Some are composting it.

And the wool board is struggling to clear a 9million-kilo backlog, out of 27million kilos.

The National Farmers Union said: “The market is depressed mainly to do with the recession provoked by Covid-19 and export markets closing.”

Farmer Mark Weekes, 55, said despite the financial difficulties, sheep still had to be shorn for welfare reasons.

He added: "We have to have them shorn, it's an animal welfare issue not to have them shorn.

"They suffer badly from blowfly strike which causes maggots and that is a horrendous thing for them to have.

"We deliver our wool to the board, but it costs more to take it there than we make out of it."

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