July 25, 2008
July 25, 2008 - The Sheep and Goat mid-year inventory report was released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) which indicated that the number of sheep and lambs as of July 1 totaled 7.35 million head, down 3 percent from July 1, 2007.
"It is not a surprise to the industry that sheep and lamb inventories are slightly lower for this period," stated Burdell Johnson, American Sheep Industry Association president. "May is the peak of range lambing and this year it coincided with heavy snow and rain from Colorado and Utah through the northern plains. Cold temperatures slowed grass growth in many areas, and in New Mexico and Texas, poor lambing percentages have been reported from several sources."
The breeding herd consists of 3.62 million ewes one year old and older, 180,000 rams one year old and older and 620,000 replacement lambs (including newborn lambs). Market lamb inventory at 2.86 million head was comprised of 1.67 million lambs lighter than 65 pounds, 595,000 lambs 65 pounds to 84 pounds, 340,000 lambs 85 pounds to 105 pounds and 250,000 lambs heavier than 105 pounds. Market sheep inventory was 75,000 head.
It is projected that the 2008 lamb crop in the United States will total 3.97 million head, down 2 percent from the 2007 lamb crop of 4.05 million head. Lambs born during January through June 2008 totaled 3.48 million head or 88 percent of the yearly total. An additional 490,000 head are expected to be born during the period July through December 2008.
The entire report can be viewed at www.nass.usda.gov/publications