Resolution Introduced to Protect American Sheep Producers
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published a final rule on the importation of sheep, goats and certain other ruminants, which could have serious consequences for American sheep and goat producers. The rule removes critical protections against fatal diseases, such as scrapie, when the administration should be focusing on opening new export markets for American producers.
In response, Congressman August Pfluger (Texas) introduced a bipartisan bill to require the USDA to delay implementation of the rule until its impacts on American sheep producers can be fully studied. Companion legislation has been filed in the Senate by Sen. John Barrasso (S. 3354).
Cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Henry Cuellar, Ronny Jackson, Nicole Malliotakis, Jodey Arrington, Tony Gonzales, Yvette Herrell, Chris Stewart, Jeff Fortenberry, Dusty Johnson, and Liz Cheney.
The measure is supported by the American Sheep Industry Association, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association, American Farm Bureau and Texas Farm Bureau.
Rep. August Pfluger: “At a time where American sheep and goat producers are facing extreme predation, increased labor costs, and loss of federal grazing land, this administration must remain laser focused on opening up new export markets for American lamb. This rule could have serious effects, and I am proud to lead this effort to halt implementation until it effects can be fully studied.”
ASI President Susan Shultz: “The American Sheep Industry Association greatly appreciates the leadership of Rep. Pfluger and our affiliate the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association. We have continued to ask successive administrations to prioritize export opportunities for U.S. sheep producers, before allowing additional imports. The legislation introduced by Rep. Pfluger in the House and Senator Barrasso in the Senate will provide the domestic sheep and lamb industry the information we need to assess the potential impacts of increasing exports and inform this conversation going forward.”
TSGRA President Curry Campbell: “The Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association would like to thank Congressman Pfluger and his staff for their continued support of the sheep and goat industry. This bill is an essential step in evaluating the full impact this regulation may possibly have on the U.S. sheep and goat industry in the future.”
Sen. Barrasso’s legislation is cosponsored by John Tester, Tina Smith, Kevin Cramer, John Hoeven, Mike Rounds, John Thune, Cynthia Lummis, Steve Daines and Roger Marshall.
Source: Rep. Austin Pfluger
SheepCast: Import Legislation, Ports & LMR
This week, the ASI SheepCast looks at lamb import legislation introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. Action this week centered around relieving supply chain issues at U.S. ports and the extension of Mandatory Price Reporting.
Click Here to listen to the podcast.
House Passes Livestock Mandatory Reporting
The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed (418-9) this week a bill that would extend Livestock Mandatory Reporting through the end of September 2022. LMR is set to expire on Feb. 18, 2022. The U.S. Senate must now pass the legislation before it can go to President Joe Biden for his signature.
Livestock Mandatory Reporting is critical to sheep ranchers and lamb feeders because it requires consistent reporting of purchases and sales of slaughter lambs and lamb meat. This information is relied upon heavily by the lamb industry for transparency in livestock markets.
The American Sheep Industry Association secured legislation for mandatory reporting in 1999 with implementation of U.S. Department of Agriculture rules in 2001. The statute has lapsed at least twice in that period since and the lamb markets did not function well in those situations. ASI believes strongly that Congress must keep the authorization, even if for months at a time. The lamb industry is seeking better language on confidentiality of reports to increase the public release of reported data.
ALB Working on Flavor Profile Research
The American Lamb Board is undertaking groundbreaking research to investigate separating different flavor profiles of lamb at the processing level of production. The technology utilized was originally developed for the medical industry and is referred to as rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry. The project involves researchers from Colorado State University and Texas Tech University.
“Being able to classify lamb into flavor profiles has the potential to market lamb more successfully to consumers who like it milder or more intense,” says Gwen Kitzan, ALB chair. “And we can accurately detect off-flavors and carcass characteristics at the processor to utilize the meat in the best way possible.”
Phase three results show the REIMS-driven technology is quite accurate in predicting flavor attributes that correlate to what a 400-member consumer sensory testing panel would identify. The project also aims to determine how management practices such as age, sex, breed and feeding methods affect lamb flavor.
Lamb is the first meat industry to do such thorough investigation into REIMS and although it requires a step-by-step process, indications show the outcomes could be beneficial to lamb marketers.
“The flavor profile work is an example of a long-term research project to address a significant barrier to increased American lamb consumption that the Lamb Checkoff is steering with the ultimate goal of improving American lamb quality and eating experiences for consumers,” says Kitzan.
Phase three of the research is complete and the sensory panel reports are available upon request by emailing rae@AmericanLamb.com.
Australian Market Continues Steady Run
The Australian wool market recorded another overall increase – for the fourth consecutive week – this series. Unlike in the previous three weeks, every sector of the market and every individual Micron Price Guide recorded either positive movement or was unchanged.
This week was the final buying opportunity for exporters trying to fill and ship December orders. This put pressure on many types, as a number of exporters fought hard to finish their respective orders. Finer Merino fleece types attracted strong buyer attention. As a result, these wools recorded strong rises for the series. This was reflected in the MPGs across the country for 18.5 micron and finer, which added between 22 and 41 cents.
These gains – combined with solid lifts in all other sectors – helped push the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator up by 14 cents for the series. The EMI closed at 1,360 Australian cents – a 1-percent increase. The EMI has now risen for four consecutive series, adding a total of 41 cents during this period. Although the Australian Dollar lost further ground against the U.S. Dollar – the AUD traded 0.29 cents lower compared to the previous week – when viewed in USD terms, the EMI also recorded an increase. The EMI added 6 U.S. cents for the series, closing at 971 U.S. cents – a 0.6-percent increase.
The crossbred sector was the best performing in percentage terms, particularly in the South. In Melbourne, the MPGs for 26 micron rose by 31 cents (+4.3 percent), 28 micron by 25 cents (+6.3 percent) and 30 micron by 25 cents (+7.5 percent).
Next week is the final sale of this calendar year and the last before the annual three-week Christmas recess. As the last selling opportunity before Christmas, the national offering has increased to 42,306 bales currently expected to be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.
DSANA Plans Virtual Symposium
Register now to attend the second live, online Dairy Sheep Association of North American Symposium on Jan. 19-20, 2022. After last year’s successful virtual symposium, DSANA is again gathering a host of speakers to present on topics related to sheep dairying.
Presentations will take place during the course of two-and-a-half days. Question-and-answer sessions will follow each presentation. Registration is free to all DSANA members. Non-members can register for $75.
Topics planned for discussion include:
- Using Estimated Breeding Values for Breeding and Selection;
- Food Safety for Artisan Cheesemakers;
- Raising Dairy Replacement Ewes;
- Getting Started with a Distributor;
- Light-Extension Protocols for Out-of-Season Breeding;
- Freezing and Thawing Sheep Milk for Processing;
- Climate Change Mitigation on Your Farm.
Virtual tours of three dairy sheep operations (in Oregon, Quebec and Wisconsin) are also planned for the symposium.
Click Here to register.
Ocean Shipping Reform Act Passes in House
The American Sheep Industry Association joined a coalition of more than 360 agricultural and trade associations this week in supporting the Ocean Shipping Reform Act passed by the U.S. House on Wednesday. This bill is the first major overhaul of federal regulations for the global shipping industry in more than 30 years and was sponsored by U.S. Reps. Dusty Johnson (S.D.) and John Garamendi (Calif.).
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act addresses the ongoing supply chain crisis and safeguards agriculture exporters from unfair trade practices. It will ensure a more competitive global ocean shipping industry, protect American businesses and consumers from price gouging, and establish reciprocal trade opportunities to reduce the United States’ longstanding trade imbalance with export-driven countries such as China. The bipartisan legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Johnson and Garamendi introduced the bill in August following months of severe supply chain delays and anti-competitive and unfair practices on behalf of foreign flagged ocean carriers.
“We’ve all been impacted by the backlog in the supply chain and shipping delays,” said Johnson. “China and the foreign flagged ocean carriers aren’t playing fair, and accountability is long overdue. If you want to do business with American ports, you need to play by our basic rules. I am proud of the coalition Congressman Garamendi and I have worked to build over the last year. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act puts American consumers, farmers, ranchers, retailers, truckers, manufacturers and small businesses first. Our bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support, and I look forward to seeing it pass the Senate.”
USDA Launches Loan Guarantee Program
U.S. Department of Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack announced this week that USDA is deploying $100 million under the new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to make available nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees; these loan guarantees will back private investment in processing and food supply infrastructure that will strengthen the food supply chain for the American people.
USDA is making the funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address food system challenges dating back decades and further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments will help essential processing and supply chain infrastructure that will ultimately deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for farmers, they will give people greater access to healthier foods, and they will help eliminate bottlenecks in the food supply chain.
“The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities and created extreme disruptions in America’s food supply chain. The reduction in meat processing capacity is just one example of the supply chain bottlenecks that affect small and midsize farmers,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is investing in ways to improve America’s food supply chain. The funding we’re announcing today will leverage approximately a billion dollars in public and private-sector investments that will significantly expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance critical food supply chain infrastructure.”
Click Here to read the full story.
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