American Sheep Industry Weekly May 13, 2016…

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ASI Makes Lamb Board and Sheep Center Nominations

The executive board of the American Sheep Industry Association met by conference call this week to provide a slate of nominees for the Secretary of Agriculture to consider for appointment to the boards of the American Lamb Board and the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.

“We believe we have provided nominees for the secretary’s consideration that are experienced and dedicated sheep producers who have served their industry at the local, state and national levels and who represent a broad range of production, marketing, finance and management experience from coast to coast,” said Burton Pfliger, ASI president.

ASI is a certified nominating organization and, as such, is required to provide at least two recommendations for each open board seat.

The nominations to the ALB seat for a producer with more than 500 head of lambs are Diane Peavey (Idaho) and Rob Rule (Iowa); Jim Percival (Ohio) and Lisa Surber, Ph.D. (Mont.) have been nominated for the seat serving producers with less than 100 head of lambs.

Peavey is being nominated to serve a second term. She has been in the sheep business for 34 years and she and her husband run 3,500 ewes on 26,000 acres. They market their lambs to local restaurants and grocery stores and created and directed the Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

Rule and his family run hundreds of ewes in northwest Iowa and has expertise in all areas of the sheep business.

Percival, a sheep producer for the last 45 years, is being nominated to a second term on the board. He owns a small family-run operation that markets lambs to local stores or farmer’s markets.

Surber has been involved in the sheep industry for the last 10 years as a leader, researcher, educator, consultant and producer. Her 20 head of sheep are enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program.

Candidates for the two open positions to the NSIIC board were also selected. Marsha Spykerman (Iowa) and Mike Jernigan (Texas) were put forward for the producer director seat and Frankie Iturriria (Calif.) and Mike Jernigan (Texas) were chosen for the seat with expertise in finance and management.

Being nominated for a second term, Spykerman has been in the sheep business for 26 years running approximately 400 ewes. Jernigan has been in the sheep business for 37 years running 4,500 sheep on 55,000 acres. Both producers have been and continue to be very involved in various sheep organizations.

As a farmer/ranch manager, Iturriria has spent the last 15 years running 3,600 lambs and being involved in vegetable and row-crop production.

Metacam® 20 Approved for Canadian Sheep

Boehringer Ingelheim announced on May 2 that it obtained approval in Canada for the use of Metacam® 20 in the alleviation of pain and inflammation in sheep. This is the first approval in the world for Metacam® 20 in sheep.

The marketing authorization was granted based on a 2001 article written by Colditz et al. – Efficacy of Meloxicam in Sheep: Determining the effective dose of meloxicam in a sterile model of inflammation in sheep.

The American Sheep Industry Association has submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration to request the approval of Metacam® 20 for use in U.S. sheep, as well.

AU Wool Prices Remain Strong

Further losses in the Australian dollar continued to support the Australian wool market this week. The AUD lost ground for the third consecutive week, shedding 1.6 cents during this series and closing the week at 73.4 US cents. In USD, the Australian market indicator decreased $.03 US/pound while increasing $.09 in AUD terms.

The Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator closed 19 cents higher at 1287 cents, only 17 cents shy of the seasonal high recorded in August. Increases were across all microns but the most scrutiny was in the 18 to 19-micron area.

Register for the May 24 Let’s Grow Webinar

Register now to participate in the upcoming Let’s Grow Program webinar titled A journey: The opportunities and challenges of melding genomics into U.S. sheep breeding programs. Ron Lewis, Ph.D., will be the presenter with Jay Parsons, Ph.D., hosting. Both work with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

The webinar will take place on May 24 at 7 p.m. central daylight time. To register, go to

The efficiency of lamb and wool production has increased substantially worldwide by applying traditional quantitative genetic principles in sheep breeding programs. Accelerating those gains depends on melding state-of-the-art technologies in animal genomics with quantitative genetics approaches to more accurately identify high merit animals. The aim of this webinar will be to demystify these technologies.

This will entail a journey – a genomics road trip – beginning with the key terminology and principles of modern biology. Next on the journey will be reflection, considering ways genomics may enhance, yet certainly not replace, the fundamentals of successful sheep breeding programs. The inevitable bumps along the road will then be identified, which include the resource and financial challenges that using genomic tools entail.

The sign of a successful journey is to plan the next one. Therefore, the webinar will conclude with an overview of a new project, funded by the Let’s Grow Program of the American Sheep Industry Association, which begins the melding of genomics into U.S. sheep breeding programs.

Obama Administration Drops Lesser Prairie Chicken Appeal

This week, the Obama Administration dropped its appeal of the federal court decision that overturned the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened species.

The lesser prairie chicken was listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014, affecting parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. The listing decision was later overturned by a district court decision, which the administration decided to appeal.

By dropping its appeal, the administration accepts the district court’s remand order, which vacates the 2014 listing decision, meaning that the lesser prairie chicken is no longer federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Voluntary conservation efforts have been working to recover the species and will now be given the opportunity to succeed without the unnecessary burden of a federal ESA listing.

May ASI Wool Journal Available

The May 2016 issue of the ASI Wool Journal is available with headlines that read Modest Growth Predicted for Household Consumption, China’s Wool Product Exports Turn the Corner and Competing Fiber Prices Begin to Recover.

The American Sheep Industry Association commissions Chris Wilcox, a leading analyst and commentator on the global wool industry, to produce the ASI Wool Journal, which offers insight into the U.S. and global wool markets.

In his Retail Demand and Economic Conditions column, Wilcox states, “Prospects for growth in household consumption in the major wool consuming countries during the next two years are clouded, with some improvement possible, albeit at relatively slow growth rates. Eight countries account for around two-thirds of the total world consumption of wool at retail, led by China (23 percent share), the United States (11 percent share) and Japan (9 percent share).

“One of the key drivers of demand throughout the wool textile industry back to the farm gate is how much disposable income consumers in these major retail markets have to spend. And one measure of this is the growth in private or household consumption,” the article continues.

Read the entire story in the May ASI Wool Journal at

Nevada Killed Bighorn to Save Them

At article in the Idaho Statesman reported on the decision of the State of Nevada to eliminate a herd of bighorn sheep that were diagnosed with pneumonia before they intermingle with other herds in different parts of the state.

It’s a “heated topic that has vast socio-economic and ecological impacts in the western United States,” said Maggie Highland, Ph.D., a USDA animal disease researcher at Washington State University. She is among those who question the science and wonder whether Nevada acted prematurely, “without really understanding all of the factors that caused the first outbreak.”

“I’d also question how we know for certain that none of the members of the affected herd hadn’t already intermingled with the herd that they were reportedly trying to protect,” Highland wrote in an email to the Associated Press.

Skeptics include Mark Thurmond, Ph.D., professor emeritus of veterinary epidemiology at the University of California-Davis. “What they are doing is illogical – to say we found these agents, therefore, we’ve got to eradicate this entire herd,” Thurmond said. He says disease transmittal involves a complex combination of multiple agents and outside impacts, ranging from drought and wildfires, to extreme cold and snow.

“If the herd is doing well otherwise, why destroy the gene pool that has been able to handle these agents?” he told AP.

State officials felt that if they didn’t act fast, the sheep would disperse as the snowpack melted. Nevada state wildlife veterinarian Peregrine Wolff said they were lucky to get an early warning of trouble in December because they’d just fitted several sheep with radio-signal collars in a partnership with Oregon to monitor movement across state lines.

“You could tell right away there was something not right because of the fact they weren’t moving,” Wolff said. “Within weeks we started realizing we were at the start of a devastating disease event.”

Necropsies confirmed the dead animals had pneumonia.

“I take exception to anyone in the domestic sheep industry looking over my shoulder and telling the Nevada Department of Wildlife how to manage,” said Wolff. “I totally understand the politics. But to deny the science because of the politics is sort of short-sighted to me.”

ASI Supports 34-Hour Restart to Drivers

The American Sheep Industry Association joined nearly 100 other organizations in supporting language in the fiscal year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill to retain the use of the truck driver 34-hour restart and oppose any efforts to jeopardize its use.

Restricting use of the 34-hour restart, as the U.S. Department of Transportation did in July 2013 prior to congressional action, had significant negative consequences on drivers and companies. Despite gloomy predictions by critics of the provision, fatal truck crashes dropped 21 percent since the restart was implemented in 2004. In fact, the USDOT acknowledged when it imposed the restart restrictions that they were not justifiable from a safety perspective. The department could only rationalize restricting the 34-hour restart by theorizing the restrictions would somehow increase driver health and longevity.

The signators of the letter to the appropriations committee leadership believe the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should be held to a high standard in its rulemakings and, thus, required to demonstrate the safety and health benefits of restricting use of the 34-hour restart. Should the agency be unable to do so, the simple restart should be retained for drivers to use as they have since 2004.

Wild Horse Program Facing Future $1 Billion Budget Crisis

The head of the Bureau of Land Management says it’s time to admit his agency has a $1 billion problem.

BLM Director Neil Kornze says the administration can’t afford to wage an increasingly uphill battle to protect the ecological health of federal rangeland across the West while at the same time properly managing tens of thousands of wild horses and caring for tens of thousands more rounded up in government corals.

Kornze told The Associated Press the agency may not have done as good of a job as it could have in recent years to underscore the environmental and budgetary crisis looming in its wild horse and burro program. His experts estimate $1 billion will be needed to care for the 46,000 wild horses and burros currently in U.S. holding facilities over their lifetime. That doesn’t include the cost of future efforts to shrink the population of the record-67,000 now roaming public lands in 10 western states.

The 67,000 horses and burros on the range is a 15 percent increase from last year, and more than double the population that was estimated when President Nixon signed the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act into law in 1971. The landmark legislation allows for removals but also grants the animals unique federal protection and requires they be treated humanely during and after their capture.

Kornze said his agency’s horse budget has doubled since 2009 – from $40 million to more than $80 million currently – but “the trajectory of the population has just gone up and up.” Left unchecked, the population naturally doubles every four years.

Reprinted in part from

Meet the Site that is Like Uber – but for Tractors

Jordan Hickel has a long row of ultra-expensive tractors and other machinery parked on his farm in central Kansas.

“There’s well over a million dollars of equipment out here,” the 31-year-old farmer said, waving his hand at the vehicles while walking toward the crown jewel of his collection: A bright red 8120 CASE IH combine that he uses to harvest corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat.

But Hickel uses the towering machine only two months out of the year.

This summer, he’s shipping the combine off to Colorado then Washington State – renting it out to other farmers through a website that hopes to bring the sharing economy to the farmstead.

Think Uber – but for tractors.

The site,, is the brainchild of a Kansas City company that started about 15 years ago as a traditional combine leasing business. Last year it launched the website that helps farmers make money by renting their equipment to those who can’t afford the cost of buying the machines outright.

The platform now has more than 1,200 users and features “tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment,” according to the company. Listings show several hundred different tractors, planters and combines available for rent around the country.

Reprinted in part from The Chicago Tribune



Weekly National Market Prices for Wool

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prices for wool can be accessed at The effective repayment rate is the lower of either the 30-day average or weekly rate.

GREASE PRICES in $ per pound

Ungraded Wool

40 cents
56 cents
Not Available

Unshorn Pelt

6.865 lbs x
Ungraded Wool LDP
Not Available

Wool LDPs are not available when the weekly repayment rate is above loan rate.

Market Summary, Week ending May 6, 2016
Feeder Prices ($/cwt.), San Angelo: 40-50 lbs. for 210-232; 60-70 lbs. for 180-206; 70-90 lbs. for 165-174.
Slaughter Prices – Negotiated ($/cwt.), wooled and shorn 123-200 lbs. for 115-150 (wtd avg 134.78).
Slaughter Prices – Formula1, Only heavier lambs reported: 2,396 head 85-95 lbs. for 229.31-272.24.
Equity Electronic Auction, No sales.
Cutout Value/Net Carcass Value2, $306.40/cwt.
Carcass Price, Choice and Prime, YG 1-4, $/cwt., weighted averages, 432 head at 55-65 lbs. for 326.44; 1,143 head at 65-75 lbs. for 286.67, 1,384 head at 75-85 lbs. for 275.17; 1,671 head at 85+ lbs. for 259.39.
Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), Trimmed 4″ Loins 512.89, Rack, roast-ready, frenched (cap-on) 1,323.54, Rack, roast-ready, frenched, special (cap-off) 1,834.56, Leg, trotter-off, partial boneless 491.88, Shoulder, square-cut 272.66, Ground lamb 533.65.
Imported Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), AUS Rack (fresh, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 897.32, AUS Shoulder (fresh, square-cut) 216.41, AUS Leg (fresh, semi boneless) 383.15, AUS Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 696.47, NZ Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 20 oz/up) 756.29, AUS Shoulder (frozen, square-cut) 164.79.
Exported Adult Sheep, 335 head
Wool, Price ($/pound) Clean, Delivered, 18 micron (Grade 80s) 4.52, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 4.42, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 4.04-4.17, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.91-4.09, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.69-3.89, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 3.45-4.02, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) 3.22-3.40, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 3.06-3.26, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) NA, 27 micron (Grade 56s) NA, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 2.36, 29 micron (Grade 50-54s) NA, 30-34 micron (Grade 44-50s) NA.
Australian Wool, Clean, delivered FOB warehouse & gross producers ($/pound), 18 micron (Grade 80s) 3.99-4.52, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 3.86-4.38, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 3.74-4.24, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.66-4.15, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.61-4.09, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 3.54-4.01, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) NA, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 3.00-3.40, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) 2.76-3.12, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 2.11-2.39, 30 micron (Grade 50s) 1.85-2.10, 32 micron (Grade 46-48s) 1.63-1.84, Merino Clippings 2.79-3.16.
1Heavier lambs typically bring lower prices per lb. 2The cutout value is the same as a net carcass value. It is a composite value that sums the value of the respective lamb cuts multiplied by their weights. It is also the gross carcass value less processing and packaging costs.
Source: USDA’S AMS

Loan Rate
LDP Rate
Week of 5/11/16
Graded Wool
CLEAN PRICES in $ per pound
<18.6 Micron
$.04 LDP Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
> 29 Micron
Not Available

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Phone: (303) 771-3500 Fax: (303) 771-8200 Writer/Editor: Judy Malone E-mail:
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