Sheep Inventory Up Second Consecutive Year
February 5, 2016

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service's annual Sheep and Goats Report, all sheep and lamb inventory in the United States on Jan. 1 totaled 5.32 million head, up 1 percent from the same time in 2015.

States with the largest increases in sheep and lamb numbers last year included North Dakota - 14 percent, Kentucky - 10 percent, Pennsylvania - 9 percent, West Virginia - 9 percent, Michigan - 8 percent, Montana - 7 percent, North Carolina - 7 percent, Illinois - 5 percent, Colorado - 4 percent, Missouri - 4 percent, Wyoming - 3 percent and Texas - 2 percent.

Breeding sheep inventory at 3.97 million head on Jan. 1 increased 1 percent from 3.94 million head on Jan. 1, 2015. Ewes one year old and older, at 3.13 million head, were slightly above last year. Market sheep and lambs on Jan. 1, 2016, totaled 1.36 million head, up 1 percent from Jan. 1, 2015. Market lambs comprised 94 percent of the total market inventory. Market sheep comprised the remaining 6 percent of total market inventory.

The 2015 lamb crop of 3.44 million head was unchanged from 2014. The 2015 lambing rate was 111 lambs per 100 ewes 1 year old and older on Jan. 1, 2015, also unchanged from 2014.

Shorn wool production in the United States during 2015 was 27.1 million pounds, up 1 percent from 2014. Sheep and lambs shorn totaled 3.68 million head, unchanged from 2014. The average price paid for wool sold in 2015 was $1.45 per pound for a total value of $39.3 million, up 1 percent from $38.9 million in 2014.

Sheep death loss during 2015 totaled 230 thousand head, up 5 percent from 2014. Lamb death loss increased 3 percent from 365 thousand head to 375 thousand head in 2015.

The full report is available at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/SheeGoat/SheeGoat-01-29-2016.pdf.