The executive board of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) unanimously approved a request for a section 32 lamb meat purchase program to be authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
In a letter to AMS Deputy Administrator Craig Morris, Ph.D., ASI stressed its appreciation of last year's lamb purchase of $12 million. The deliveries are to be completed this June and while live lamb prices, particularly lighter weights, have improved since last fall's market collapse, plenty of concern exists with the 2013 lamb crop.
Therefore, ASI is requesting consideration of a section 32 lamb purchase of up to $5 million in fiscal year 2013. Two of the industry's leading lamb companies are in full support of this request and indicate aggressive bidding will be in order.
"We believe your analysis will find that freezer stocks are still above more traditional levels, current slaughter weights remain above normal levels, indicating lamb meat movement is still lacking, and drought conditions and higher-than-normal animal feed costs unfortunately persist," said ASI President Clint Krebs.