American Sheep Industry Weekly for Jan 20th, 2017

ASI Sheep Logo 1American Sheep Industry Weekly for Jan 20th, 2017

Upcoming Events

  • Jan. 25-28 – ASI Annual Convention – Denver, Colo. – Details Available at
  • Feb. 1 – Integrated Predator Management Workshop – Lewistown, Mont. – Alex Few, 406-657-6464 or
  • Feb. 2 – Black Hills Stock Show – All American Sheep Day – Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, S.D.
  • Feb. 9-10 – Domestic & Wild Sheep Management and Disease Symposium – Radisson Colonial Inn, Helena, Mont. – Vore, 406-444-3940 or
  • Feb. 10-11 – Pipestone (Minn.) Lamb and Wool Program Lambing Time Short Course and Bus Tour – or Claire Beekman at or 507-825-6822
  • Feb. 11 -Short Course on Lambing/Kidding and Winter Ewe/Doe Management Sponsored by W.V. Shepherds Federation – Camp Pioneer, Beverly – or Joseph Aucremanne 304-445-1516,
  • Feb. 18 – Iowa Sheep Field Day – Washington – 10 am-4 pm – Hosted by Iowa State University and Premier –
  • Feb. 18 – Sheep and Goat Buying Station – Duckett Farms, Hope, Ark. – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jesse Duckett at 870-703-7321
  • Feb. 23-25 – Colorado Wool Growers Shearing School – Brush – Marlin Eisenach at or 970-542-3543
  • Feb. 25 – Washington State Sheep Producers Lambing School – Martinez Lambing Camp, Mabton – Dr. Jim Swannack at 509-257-2230 or
  • Feb. 27-March 1 – Missouri Shearing School – George Washington Carver Farm, Jefferson City – Erin Brindisi at or 573-681-5312
  • March 11-12 – Northeast Shearing School – Shepherds Way Farm in Locke, N.Y. – for both beginners and advanced shearers. Deadline to register is Feb. 15. or call 320-587-6094
  • March 12-15 – NLFA Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School – Albany, Ore. –
  • March 21-22 – Kentucky Shearing School – C. Oran Little Research Center, Versailles – Don Ely at or 859-257-2717

Details of the ASI Convention

The ASI staff is looking forward to seeing everyone in Denver next week. With registration numbers up, there will be many old friendships to rekindle and new ones to be made. A few final details:

Registration – All registrations from this point forward will all be done onsite. Make your way to the Registration Desk when you arrive if you have not yet registered.

Weather – The local weather tells us that there is a possibility of snow in the Denver area on Tuesday, Jan. 24. After that, the forecast is for clear skies with daytime temperatures in the 40’s.

Attire – The Denver meeting will be perfect for attendees to sport their finest wool attire. Those taking part in the Industry Tours will definitely want to dress in warm clothing; the time spent in the processing plant will be cold.

American Sheep Industry Responds to Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s One-Sided take on Wildlife Services

This week, American Sheep Industry Association President Burton Pfliger responded to an editorial published by the Chicago Tribune titled “Why do the feds slaughter wildlife? ‘Wildlife Services’ targets predators for dubious reasons.”

While the editorial recognized USDA Wildlife Service’s role in protecting livestock and civil aviation, it called into question the use of lethal methods of predator control and objectified the program’s benefits to ranchers without considering the full breadth of the program’s benefits to wildlife and infrastructure. Due to concise word limits in place by the Chicago Tribune, Pfliger’s 400 word response is as follows:

To the Editor, Chicago Tribune: The editorial board asks, “Why do the feds slaughter wildlife?,” citing concerns about a program that millions of American citizens rely on. As the board recognized, the work done by USDA Wildlife Services controls non-native species, the spread of disease and limits the dangers of bird strikes at airports.

The spread of wildlife-borne disease is a growing concern. Wildlife Services is often the first line of defense in eliminating diseases like West Nile, avian influenza, H1N1 and chronic wasting disease. Wildlife Services also prevents the entry of invasive species and invests in conservation efforts to benefit game species. Although these may seem contradictory, Wildlife Services bridges the gap between the needs for commerce and protecting wildlife populations.

While the “Miracle on the Hudson” brought the danger of bird strikes into everyone’s living room, it is not just farmers and civil aviation that benefit. In fiscal year 2014 alone, Wildlife Services conducted more than 66,000 projects to reduce wildlife damage to property in urban and suburban homes, schools and critical infrastructure across the country. Every American benefits from its work to reduce deer collisions with automobiles. Each year, more than 1.2 million deer-vehicle collisions injure tens of thousands and cause more than $4 billion in damage.

Wildlife Services protects more than our nation’s domestic food supply. Every year, wildlife causes more than $12.8 billion in damage to natural resources, public infrastructure and private property. Of that amount, damage to agriculture includes $137 million for livestock, $619 million to crops and $146 million to fruits, nuts and vegetables. Wildlife Services is one of the most efficient programs in the federal government. Every dollar spent on predator control saves $3 in livestock losses alone. Through matching funds and cooperative agreements, Wildlife Services receives more funding from states, counties and private industry than their annual federal appropriation. This not only benefits taxpayers, but shows the importance of this program to local governments.

Wildlife Services relies on the best science and lethal and non-lethal methods. There is no quick fix to issues that arise between populations and wildlife. Every tool must be considered and that is why Wildlife Services is supported by every natural resource and professional wildlife management organization in the country. As a nation, our commitment is not only to commerce, but to wildlife and our natural heritage. Wildlife Services is vital to striking that balance and ensuring that all interests are met.

Prices Surge for Australian Wool

Australia’s wool growers are experiencing the best conditions in decades as prices surge to record highs on the back of a solid increase in demand. The broadest measure of wool prices, the Eastern Market Indicator, hit 1439 cents per kilo this week, 3 cents above the previous record set in June 2011.

In U.S. dollar terms, the EMI is up 20.5 percent from this time last year – 895 to 1079, respectively. Also, the Australian dollar is 8.9 percent stronger year-on-year.

Industry analysts predict the current price momentum is more sustainable than the spike of five years ago, which was driven by shortages caused by the industry’s slump during the global financial crisis.

Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors Executive Director Dr. Peter Morgan said the current price rise was backed by solid and ongoing demand in China.

“It looks like supply and demand are in reasonable balance, if anything demand is slightly stronger,” Morgan said. “The current price is the equivalent of $14,390 per tonne, making wool Australia’s highest unit value agricultural commodity.”

The steady gain of the EMI has been largely driven by demand for top-end superfine lines, which have risen by 30 percent – $4.50 – in the past year. However, the moves in coarser wool have been more muted, with the margin between fine and coarse cross-bred wool expanding from around 10 to 25 percent in the past six months.

China is the biggest buyer of wool, purchasing around 75 percent of the clip. The Chinese expansion has more than filled the void of Italian buyers, who fell from around a 20 percent market share to less than 5 percent, having failed to recover from the GFC-inspired industry collapse. India’s massive textiles industry is growing in importance as well, and now buys almost 10 percent of Australia’s wool.

Source: ABC Rural

USDA Moves Forward with Organic Marketing Rule

This week, the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service published its Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. The rule, initially proposed in April 2016, aims to strengthen rules for Organic Livestock and Poultry by:

  • Clarifying how producers and handlers must treat livestock and poultry to ensure their health and well-being throughout life, including transport and slaughter.
  • Specifying which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production.
  • Establishing minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry. The final rule published by the administration significantly mirrors the version initially proposed. The National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Chicken Council all submitted comments requesting the rule be significantly revised or withdrawn. While the American Sheep Industry shares the concerns of others in the livestock and poultry sectors that mandating production practices through a USDA program sets a bad precedent, ASI notes the final rule does not conflict with industry practices of castration and tail docking, which are critical to proper sheep health and welfare.

ASI Circulates Letter of Support for the Confirmation of Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

In a letter to the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee, American Sheep Industry Association President Burton Pfliger wrote the following:

ASI advocates for the nation’s 88,000 farm and ranch families that produce America’s lamb and wool. On behalf of these members and producers, we enthusiastically write in support of the confirmation of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and urge your support for his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

During his term as Governor of the State of Georgia, Perdue brought common sense and sound business acumen to state government. His background of service to our country and his educational background as a practicing veterinarian gives our members and sheep producers throughout the country confidence he will understand the needs of agriculture and rural America as head of the USDA.

America’s sheep producers continue a strong tradition of supporting wildlife habitat, natural resources and open space across the country, enabled by careful resource management while grazing our flocks on private lands and federal grazing allotments, allotments managed in part by the USDA’s Forest Service. Our members support rural communities, the tax base and local businesses, all while providing safe domestic food and fiber. From on the farm and ranch to the retail level, the sheep industry has a total annual economic impact of $4.4 billion, and supports nearly 98,000 sheep-industry related jobs. Unfortunately, this significant economic impact has been threatened by the Forest Service’s poor decisions to shutdown multi-generation family grazing allotments. Equally concerning is the proposed abandonment of the nation’s sole sheep research station under the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service.

We believe, that if confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture, Gov. Perdue will support a vibrant rural economy. Important components of that rural economy are a robust predator management program through USDA’s Wildlife Services, support for the critical work carried out through the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, strong international animal health safeguards, the reliance on sound science in international trade, and true multi-use management of federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

We appreciate your dedicated leadership to our nation’s agricultural producers. Likewise, we look forward to supporting Gov. Perdue throughout the confirmation process and working with the United States Department of Agriculture under his leadership.

Senate Hosts Confirmation Hearings for Montana Rep. Zinke and Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt

The Senate this week held confirmation hearings for Rep. Ryan Zinke (Mont), President-Elect Trump’s pick for Interior Secretary and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Zinke, a second term Representative and former Navy SEAL commander, has been a strong proponent of multiple-use on federal lands and a supporter of ASI affiliate, the Montana Wool Growers Association. The Department of the Interior holds jurisdiction over a number of issues of importance for the sheep industry, including the Endangered Species Act, sage grouse management, BLM permitting and allotments, and can play an immense role in ensuring sound-science is considered before removing domestic sheep allotments in preference to bighorn sheep habitat.

Pruitt was elected Attorney General of Oklahoma in 2010 and has been dedicated to combating unwarranted regulation and over-reach by the federal government. During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt repeatedly stressed the importance of working with the states and regulated businesses to repair the mistrust the American people have of the agency. The EPA has maligned many in agriculture through their “waters of the United States” final rule and other so-called clean air and clean water regulations.

The American Sheep Industry Association submitted a question for the record in the Zinke confirmation hearing asking for a commitment that BLM will work with sheep ranchers and stakeholders before making decisions on wild-sheep populations and assuring alternative grazing allotments be made available.

ASI supports the confirmation of both Zinke and Pruitt and urges the Senate to quickly vote to confirm these nominations after the inauguration.

Domestic and Wild Sheep Management and Disease Symposium

The Montana Wool Growers Association, the Montana Wild Sheep Foundation and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are sponsoring a symposium titled “Sheep in Montana – Domestic and Wild: The State of Things and What We Know About Disease.”

The symposium will be held on the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 9, and the morning of Friday, Feb. 10, at the Radisson Colonial Inn in Helena.

The purpose of the symposium is to share information on the state of the domestic sheep industry in Montana, the state of Montana’s bighorn sheep, domestic and wild sheep interaction and management and the current state of our collective knowledge about sheep diseases, including disease surveillance. Researchers, managers and producers from the western U.S. and Canada will share their knowledge through a series of presentations with a special focus on Montana’s sheep, both domestic and wild.

The symposium is open and free to the public. An agenda of the symposium will be available at prior to the event. For more information, contact J. Vore at 406-444-3940 or email him at

APHIS Establishes Prioritization Process for Reviewing Animal Health Status

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced a new process for prioritizing reviews of countries or regions it has previously granted animal health status recognition. APHIS is establishing this review process, as directed by Congress in the FY16 appropriations bill, to increase assurances that our import processes appropriately mitigate the risk of foreign animal diseases.

According to American Sheep Industry Association Animal Health Committee Chair Jim Logan, DVM, “We applaud APHIS for establishing this prioritization process. In the past, the risk assessments done for countries and regions have at times been outdated, likely because the regulatory process itself has taken a long time. ASI and others have communicated with APHIS that priorities should be established and the regulatory processes pursued in a timely manner on import proposals. ASI has also communicated with APHIS that quantitative evaluations of disease risk should be part of the process.”

APHIS will maintain a strategic plan for conducting reviews of APHIS-recognized animal health statuses of foreign regions. Each year, APHIS will determine the number of regions it will select for review during the following year, which will vary depending on availability of resources, travel funds and any emerging issues and/or unforeseen circumstances.

The new process is applicable for regions that have not reported disease outbreaks or pest occurrences for which the region is recognized since APHIS’ most recent evaluation.

All-American Sheep Day in South Dakota

The All-American Sheep day at the Black Hills Stock Show will feature the North American Sheep Dog Trials, the National Sheep Shearing Competition, Mutton Bustin’ and a new event, Sheep Teepeeing, along with educational booths about the sheep industry on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The All-American Sheep Day Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 6-12 years of age and includes all events throughout the day and final performances. To get a full schedule, go to

Reprinted in part from Rapid City Journal

New App to Help Purchase Meat Products

The Meat Institute has released a new app called MyMeatUp to assist consumers, particularly millennials, in becoming more comfortable and confident when purchasing meat products in the grocery store. The app is available for download on both Apple and Android devices and is the only free app available with a full guide to beef, pork, lamb and veal cuts found in grocery stores, and also includes cooking tips and recipes.

In addition to the cuts guide, it features a searchable glossary of terms frequently used on meat and poultry product labels, including natural, grass-fed, antibiotic-free and no hormones added, among others. The app also addresses common questions about industry including antibiotic use in animal agriculture, animal welfare practices, environmental concerns and nutrition facts. The app also has pages with food safety and preparation tips, along with a video guide to using a meat thermometer.

The app can be downloaded by going to your App Store.


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
55 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 January 13, 2017
Feeder Prices ($/cwt.), San Angelo: 60-70 lbs. 180-194; 70-80 lbs. 180-185; 80-90 lbs. 172-180; 100-115 lbs. 156-166.
Slaughter Prices – Negotiated ($/cwt.), Wooled and shorn 114-184 lbs. for 126.00-164.00 (wtd avg 141.93).
Slaughter Prices – Formula1, 6,623 head at 75-85 lbs. 282.65; Other weight categories not reported due to confidentiality.
Equity Electronic Auction, No sales.
Cutout Value/Net Carcass Value2, $305.20/cwt.
Carcass Price, Choice and Prime, YG 1-4, $/cwt., weighted averages, 301 head not reported due to confidentiality; 716 head at 65-75 lbs. 300.27; 783 head at 75-85 lbs. 292.97; 1,090 head at 85 lbs. and up 283.72.
Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), Trimmed 4″ Loins 530.53, Rack, roast-ready, frenched (cap-on) 1,340.76, Rack, roast-ready, frenched, special (cap-off) 1,841.27, Leg, trotter-off, partial boneless 491.52, Shoulder, square-cut 286.84, Ground lamb 526.75.
Imported Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), AUS Rack (fresh, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 843.18, AUS Shoulder (fresh, square-cut) 252.17, AUS Leg (fresh, semi boneless) 385.49, AUS Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 790.28, NZ Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 20 oz/up) 750.99, AUS Shoulder (frozen, square-cut) 216.79.
Exported Adult Sheep, 0 head
Wool, Price ($/pound) Clean, Delivered, From 7 weeks ago. 18 micron (Grade 80s) NA, 19 micron (Grade 80s) NA, 20 micron (Grade 70s) NA, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) NA, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.47, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 3.01-3.32, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) 2.66, 25 micron (Grade 58s) NA, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) NA, 27 micron (Grade 56s) 1.71-1.97, 28 micron (Grade 54s) NA, 29 micron (Grade 50-54s) NA, 30-34 micron (Grade 44-50s) 1.63.
Australian Wool, Clean, delivered FOB warehouse & gross producers ($/pound), 18 micron (Grade 80s) 4.81-5.45, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 4.49-5.08, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 4.13-4.68, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.89-4.41, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.77-4.27, 23 micron (Grade 62s) NA, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) NA, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 2.78-3.15, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) 2.50-2.83, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 1.79-2.03, 30 micron (Grade 50s) 1.57-1.78, 32 micron (Grade 46-48s) 1.29-1.47, Merino Clippings 3.07-3.48.
1Heavier carcasses 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 AMS

Loan Rate
LDP Rate
Week of 1/18/17
Graded Wool
CLEAN PRICES in $ per pound
<18.6 Micron
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
$.05 LDP Available
> 29 Micron
$.11 LDP Available
Note from the Editor: The American Sheep Industry Association Convention will be held in Denver next week. The ASI staff will be on-site all week; therefore, there will not be a newsletter on Jan. 27. Be sure to watch for convention coverage following the meeting.
ASI is an equal opportunity employer. It is the national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 85,000 sheep producers.
Submitted to the BARN by:
Angela Fiorille
@ American Sheep Industry Association; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112-2692
Phone: (303) 771-3500 Fax: (303) 771-8200 Writer/Editor: Judy Malone E-mail:
Web site: