Producers are reminded that the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has set up a drought assistance page on its website, www.sheepusa.org/Drought_Assistance, where information can be posted relating to sheep for sale or lease, grazing needs for sheep located in a drought-affected area or pasture availability for producers with excess grass. Listings have recently been posted to the site and can be viewed.
"The highest lamb and wool prices in a generation combined with projections of these markets continuing the trend long term allows banks and ranchers to budget for feed expenses or trucking and pasture lease expenses that you normally don't see in a drought," stated Peter Orwick, ASI executive director.
No doubt everyone is concerned for the sheep producers in the drought areas and the ability for ranches to restock in the future added Orwick.
"We hope producers will look at options to retain their core genetics and ASI highly encourages ranchers with extra pasture and range to contact our office so we can help connect them with those looking for grazing for ewes."
The ASI drought relief page on www.sheepusa.org assists both producers selling or moving sheep and producers with available forage to lease or wanting to buy breeding sheep. To post to this page, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many state departments of agriculture already have well-developed, functioning hay and pasture hotlines. To link to your state, go to www.sheepusa.org/Department_of_Agriculture.
"It ought to be feasible this year for producers to ship sheep to areas of the country where forage is readily available in order to retain breeding stock," continued Orwick. "Keeping the ewes in production will help meet the production needs this year and help rebuild the flock after this record drought period."