American Sheep Industry Weekly June 3, 2016…

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Upcoming Events

Save the Date

Jan. 25-28, 2017, are the dates for the American Sheep Industry Association Convention in Denver. Meeting and tour plans are progressing and details will be shared as they become available.

The meeting will be held in downtown Denver with easy access to dining and events. The Denver area offers great opportunities for industry tours, cultural opportunities and outdoor activities.

Make plans now to attend the 2017 ASI Convention in Denver.

Sheep Industry Recommends Research Priorities

The American Sheep Industry Association, on May 19, participated in a sheep research listening session with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture to communicate top challenges and potential research and education priorities for the upcoming planning cycle.

In a follow-up letter to Bret Taylor, Ph.D., animal scientist at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, ASI President Burton Pfliger (N.D.) reiterated sheep producer’s interest and support of science-based solutions to their production challenges and stressed its appreciation of ARS’s investment in sheep research, the high-quality science that results from this investment and especially the dedicated scientists and other personnel who turn challenges into ideas and solutions.

ASI commissioned a comprehensive study that was designed to determine the national research, education and development priorities for the U.S. sheep industry. The findings are reflective of those identified by the National Research Council in its 2015 report on the role of animal science research in food security and sustainability. The following NRC report quote summarizes the value of investing in animal science research:

“Productivity is a key element in achieving food security, and production efficiency relates to sustainability through its effects on economics and environmental impacts. Increasing the productivity per animal unit and land unit while concomitantly decreasing negative impacts on the environment (sustainable intensification) can ultimately produce safe, affordable and nutritious food to help meet overall global food and protein needs. Technological advancements, genetic improvement, better nutrition, husbandry and advances in animal health and welfare in animal production have contributed to major productivity and efficiency gains in food animals.”

One of the major recommendations in the NRC report is: “Research should continue to identify alternative feed ingredients that are inedible to humans and will notably reduce the cost of animal protein production while improving the environmental footprint.” It has been demonstrated and observed that sheep are very useful in accomplishing this goal and it is but one example of how sheep research and education opportunities can contribute toward more efficient food and fiber production while also serving the public good in terms of environmental sustainability in various ecosystems with multiple wildlife interactions.

ASI provided a comprehensive list of its findings with regard to research and education and stands ready to assist USDA to advance science and help the sheep industry deliver high quality consumer products in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Sheep Research Article Available on

Traditional weaning, characterized by abrupt and complete separation of offspring from their dam, is a common management practice utilized by sheep producers; however, animal performance and behavior may be negatively impacted. Fenceline weaning, an alternative method that has been extensively examined and generally accepted to be effective in cattle, may mitigate the negative effects associated with weaning in sheep.

In their article Effects of Fenceline or Traditional Weaning Methods in Drylot on Performance and Behavior by Katahdin Crossbred Lambs, authors Backes, Shanks, Caldwell, Bax, Wuliji, Wansin and Clark evaluate the effects of this alternative method.

They conclude, ” utilizing alternative weaning strategies may not improve performance by spring-born Katahdin lambs and may have negative effects on lamb behavior.”

Read the results of this study, as well as other peer-reviewed research, at

Wool Prices Hold Firm

A five-week rally in the Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator came to an end this week when it dipped 1 cent. The EMI had been on a steady march toward 1300 cents but faltered just short of the mark, closing this week 1-cent lower at 1296 cents. The EMI went unbeaten for 11 consecutive trading days, which was the longest run without a loss in more than a year.

Just over 34,000 bales were offered nationally during the week, which made it the second smallest three-center offering for the season. The week’s results were largely reflective of supply. For Merino Fleece that meant a focus on the 20.1 and broader range, which contained approximately 6,000 bales and resulted in a firming of 5 to 10 cents during the two days. By comparison, during April and May, it was common for a national offering of 9,000 to 10,000 bales being offered in this micron range.

Lawmakers Call for Extended Comment Period for Organic Livestock Rule

Senate and House agriculture committee leadership called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant a 90-day extension of the public comment period for the agency’s proposed rule regarding revised organic livestock and poultry production standards, reported Feedstuffs.

Senate Agriculture Committee chair Pat Roberts (Kan.) and ranking member Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), along with House Agriculture Committee chair Michael Conaway (Texas) and ranking member Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.), expressed multiple concerns with the proposed rule, urging USDA to address those concerns prior to publishing a final or interim final rule.

“Additional time is necessary for stakeholders to evaluate the changes made in the proposed rule and provide comprehensive feedback on the potential impacts if the rule is implemented,” the letter said, asking for an extension from 60 days to 150 days.

“Our review of the standards did not indicate any issues that would set a poor precedent for sheep production,” said American Sheep Industry Association Executive Director Peter Orwick.

10 Top Wool Producing Countries

Which are the 10 countries that produce the most wool in the world?

More than a million tons of wool is produced each year on a global scale. While wool is produced in more than 100 countries all over the world, only 10 produce nearly all of the output. The data for 2014 lists the top 10 wool-producing countries as follows:
10. India – 46,500 metric tonnes
9. Argentina – 45,000 metric tonnes
8. Russia – 54,651 metric tonnes
7. Sudan – 56,000 metric tonnes
6. Morocco – 56,000 metric tonnes
5. Iran – 61,500 metric tonnes
4. The United Kingdom – 68,000 metric tonnes
3. New Zealand – 165,000 metric tonnes
2. Australia – 360,520 metric tonnes
1. China – 471,111 metric tonnes

How does the United States compare to these countries? According to the same Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website, the United States produced 14,000 metric tonnes of wool in 2014.

Alberta Motorist Captures Video of Wolf Taking Down Its Prey

An Alberta motorist captured a video of a wolf taking down a bighorn sheep. The video, posted to YouTube – – by Christine Campbell shows a wolf chasing a herd of bighorn sheep along Highway 40 in Kananaskis.

The wolf separates a young sheep at the back of the pack from the rest of the herd, forcing it across the highway. The wolf quickly takes down the sheep and pauses to look toward the camera before dragging its prey up a hill and into the trees.

Reprinted in part from the Huffington Post

Lucy Buys a Sheep

Lucy solves the lawn mowing problem by buying a sheep to eat the grass. This episode of The Lucy Show, although it is in black and white, is worth watching —


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 27, 2016
Feeder Prices ($/cwt.), San Angelo: 50-60 lbs. for 200-210; 60-70 lbs. for 180-184; 70-90 lbs. for 175-182; 90-95 lbs. for 169-179.
Slaughter Prices – Negotiated ($/cwt.), wooled and shorn 127-187 lbs. for 128-150 (wtd avg 139.90).
Slaughter Prices – Formula1, 55-95 lbs. not reported; 95 lbs. and over for 248.82.
Equity Electronic Auction, No sales.
Cutout Value/Net Carcass Value2, $309.78/cwt.
Carcass Price, Choice and Prime, YG 1-4, $/cwt., weighted averages, 504 head at 55-65 lbs. not reported due to confidentiality; 1,082 head at 65-75 lbs. for 288.97, 1,059 head at 75-85 lbs. for 276.98; 1,895 head at 85+ lbs. not reported due to confidentiality.
Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), Trimmed 4″ Loins 523.25, Rack, roast-ready, frenched (cap-on) 1,278.15, Rack, roast-ready, frenched, special (cap-off) 1,742.55, Leg, trotter-off, partial boneless 469.96, Shoulder, square-cut 275.69, Ground lamb 525.94.
Imported Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), AUS Rack (fresh, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 835.17, AUS Shoulder (fresh, square-cut) 209.40, AUS Leg (fresh, semi boneless) 411.91, AUS Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 721.57, NZ Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 20 oz/up) 747.83, AUS Shoulder (frozen, square-cut) 170.73.
Exported Adult Sheep, 348 head
Wool, Price ($/pound) Clean, Delivered, Prices from 2-3 weeks ago: 18 micron (Grade 80s) 4.52, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 4.42, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 4.26, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.91-4.09, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 4.17, 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) 3.91-4.43, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 3.81-4.32, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 3.64-4.12, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.56-4.03, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.51-3.97, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 3.45-3.91, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) NA, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 3.01-3.41, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) 2.80-3.17, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 2.13-2.41, 30 micron (Grade 50s) 1.86-2.11, 32 micron (Grade 46-48s) 1.57-1.78, Merino Clippings 2.81-3.19.
1Heavier lambs typically receive 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 6/1/16
Graded Wool
CLEAN PRICES in $ per pound
<18.6 Micron
Not 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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