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ASI Pushes for Support of Raw Wool & Pelts

As trade negotiations with China show some signs of progress, American sheep producers are still being hit hard on raw wool and pelt prices. Retaliatory tariffs by China have caused American raw wool exports to drop by 84 percent in volume and 85 percent in value. For pelts, the situation is worse. This once valuable byproduct is now a deficit for sheep producers, who find themselves paying for disposal.

The American Sheep Industry Association included this dramatic market impact in its request that the U.S. Department of Agriculture include assistance for raw wool and pelts through Sec. Perdue’s Market Facilitation Program. The industry did receive $17 million for lamb meat purchases and an additional $1.5 million in trade promotion for wool and pelts, but no direct payments were authorized.

That said, the industry still has an opportunity to secure meaningful relief for sheep producers through the existing Wool Loan Deficiency Program. This sort of wreck in the wool market is exactly what the wool marketing loan should address. However, the weekly report on wool prices published by USDA does not reflect the weak prices – particularly for ungraded wools – therefore no payments are available. A unique feature ASI added to the wool marketing loan program was a provision to cover unshorn lamb pelts with a loan deficiency payment, so getting this program updated and operational really does fit.

ASI staff and leadership at all levels have been talking to USDA market reporters and price support officials to incorporate current wool market information. ASI representatives have also highlighted the lack of this information in recent testimony to the House and Senate agriculture committees, members of Congress, and the White House. The wool price information is available, has been successfully reported in the past, and the addition of that information to reflect market conditions should trigger LDP to give producers some relief.


ASI’s Online Shop Now Available

Recent updates to the American Sheep Industry Association’s website – – include the reopening of an online store that offers ASI merchandise, publications and promotional materials.

With the holiday gift-giving season just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to take a look at ASI’s American wool baseball hat or Reece wool socks. Maybe the producer in your life needs a copy of the latest Sheep Production Handbook or ASI’s Sheep Care Guide? You can find it all in the revamped online store.

Click Here to shop. 


U.S. To Impose Tariff on UK Wool

In a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the final list of articles from the United Kingdom and certain other states of the European Union to be subject to additional Section 301 tariffs relating to the Large Civil Aircraft Dispute.

On Oct. 2, 2019, the United States won the largest arbitration award in World Trade Organization history in its dispute with the European Union over illegal subsidies to Airbus. This follows four previous panel and appellate reports from 2011 to 2018 finding that the European Union subsidies to Airbus broke WTO rules. This decision demonstrates that massive EU corporate welfare has cost American aerospace companies hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue during the nearly 15 years of litigation.

The tariffs will be applied to a range of imports from European Union members, with the bulk of the tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom – the four countries responsible for the illegal subsidies. Although USTR has the authority to apply a 100 percent tariff on affected products, at this time the tariff increases will be limited to 10 percent on large civil aircraft and 25 percent on agricultural and other products. The United States has the authority to increase the tariffs at any time, or change the products affected. The articles covered by the additional tariffs vary from country to country. The only country subject to additional tariffs on textile articles is the United Kingdom.

Click  Here to read the full story.


Livestock Owners Should Exercise Due Diligence with Census Workers

The Animal Ag Alliance reported this week “there have continuously been incidents in several different states with Census Bureau workers (or people claiming to be affiliated with the Census Bureau) asking to enter livestock and poultry barns.

“Census workers are currently out gathering information. They should be willing to provide proper identification and should not be entering barns or other biosecure areas. The website lists how to identify a Census worker. To further verify the visitor’s identity, use the staff directory to find contact information for the individual’s supervisor or contact the regional office. If the worker seems to be legitimate, but asks to go into livestock facilities, contact the supervisor and report it to

Source: Animal Ag Alliance


Australian Wool Market Continues Rollercoaster Ride

The Australian wool market continued its wild ride this week, experiencing losses and gains within the series.

The market opened in the Eastern centers with immediate losses and continued to soften. By the end of the day, the individual Micron Price Guides had fallen by 9 to 51 cents with 18.0 micron and coarser most affected. On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 27 cents for the day. Selling last, the MPGs in the Fremantle region recorded larger losses of between 51 and 69 cents. Worth noting however, in the final 25 minutes of selling there was a noticeable increase in buyer demand, and therefore price.

This increased demand flowed into the second day, resulting in the market slowly improving. The merino MPGs across all three centers rose by 5 to 15 cents. The EMI added only 1 cent for the day due to the negative movement in other sectors of the market. The EMI lost 26 cents for the series, closing at 1,517 Australian cents.

The crossbred sector was the worst performing sector for the series. Crossbred MPGs fell by 7 to 55 cents, with 28.0 to 30.0 posting the largest falls. The skirtings followed a similar path to the fleece – losses on the first day followed by small increases on the second. The reduction in the crossbred MPGs on the second day of 20 to 30 cents prevented the EMI from recoding a larger gain than it did.

The oddments were the best performing sector of the week, recording minimal change for the series. This was reflected in the three carding indicators which lost an average of 5 cents. The national offering reduces next week as currently there are 32,970 bales rostered for sale in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. Due to lack of quantity, Sydney will hold a one-day sale on Wednesday.

Source: AWEX


Shearing Schools Announce 2019-2020 Dates

Several shearing schools have announced dates for the coming season.

In addition to learning to shear in a hands-on manner, the schools offer teaching on equipment, animal welfare and staying in shape for the physically demanding task. Equipment is usually supplied, but students are encouraged to bring any equipment they have, as well.

These schools offer training for a wide variety of students – from hobby farmers looking to shear their own flocks to those with aspirations of shearing professionally. For more information, contact organizers of the school directly.

More schools will be added to this list as information becomes available.

North Dakota Shearing School and North Dakota Wool Classing School – Nov. 23-25 in Hettinger, N.D. Contact Dr. Christopher Schauer at or 701-567-4323.

Montana State University Wool Harvesting School – Dec. 12-14 in Rockport Colony, Mont. Email Brent Roeder at or visit their website here.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center Shearing School – Jan. 6-9, 2020, in San Angelo, Texas. Email Reid Redden at OR visit their website here.

Utah State University Shearing School – Jan. 16-18, 2020, at the USU Animal Science Farm in Wellsville, Utah. Visit their website here for more information.

Missouri Shearing School – March 4-5, 2020, at Lincoln University’s Carver Farm in Jefferson City, Mo. Email Scott Kaden at

Indiana Shearing School – March 7 at Purdue University. Visit their website here.

Maryland Shearing School – March 13-14, 2020, in Fairplay, Md. Email Aaron Geiman at or visit their website here.

Moffat County Shearing School – March 20-22, 2020, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds in Craig, Colo. Visit their website here.

Washington State Shearing School – April 6-10, 2020, at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Wash. Email Sarah Smith at or visit their website here.

Washington State Advanced Shearing School – April 11, 2020, at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Wash. Email Sarah Smith at or visit their website here.

Tennessee Shearing School – Mid-April, 2020, at the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Email Mark Powell at or call 615-519-7796.


Video of the Week

Brooklyn Tweed’s Ranch 02: Forbes yarn comes from wool produced by the Forbes family’s Rambouillet flock in Kaycee, Wyo. Learn more about the yarn as rancher Jim Forbes and Brooklyn Tweed staff discuss the unique characteristics of this three-play, woolen-spun, worsted weight yarn.

Click Here for the video. 

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