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The American Sheep Industry Association office will be closed on Dec. 24 for Christmas and on Dec. 31 for the New Year’s holiday. The ASI staff wishes everyone a happy holiday season and looks forward to seeing you in San Diego at the ASI Annual Convention in January.


Convention Registration Deadlines Approaching

The deadline for the early bird registration discount for the 2022 American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention is Dec. 31. Attendees also need to book hotel rooms at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina by Dec. 29 to receive the guaranteed room rates.

Online registration for the convention will close at 5 p.m. mountain time on Jan. 7, 2022, and all registrations after that point must be done onsite in San Diego.

Don’t delay, register today.

Click Here to register.


Record Prices for Sheep & Lamb

The sheep and lamb industry is shaping up to have a record setting year for prices. Feeder lamb prices (Three-Market Average; Colo., Texas and S.D.) have tracked above 2020 levels every week expect for one in March – which was $230 per cwt, the lowest price for the year.

In February, a record price was set for feeder lambs at $342 per cwt and prices are likely to average about $260 for the year. The average feeder lamb price was $192 per cwt in 2020. Slaughter lamb prices rose quickly to start the year and set a record price in early August at $268 per cwt. Since the peak, prices have moved slightly lower but were still above $220 per cwt.

Wholesale lamb values have been phenomenal this year with record levels having been set within the last five months and prices continue to remain elevated. The National Lamb Cutout value (Gross Carcass FOB, Five Day Rolling Average) rose 66 percent ($255) since the start of the year to a record value of $639 per cwt in early August and since that point has averaged $624. In August, the shoulder price (Square Cut, Five Day Rolling Average) jumped to a record price of $609, nearly double the prior year. Leg prices reached a record of $604 per cwt in early October and have averaged about $600 since the peak. The loin and rack both set record price levels in November at $1,074 and $1,461 per cwt, respectively.

Sheep and lamb slaughter is likely to be above 2020 as year-to-date slaughter is tracking about 2 percent higher. Average dressed weights through mid December are about 2.4 percent (1.6 lbs.) lower than a year ago, which has more than offset the higher slaughter numbers resulting in lamb production down marginally (-0.1 percent). Although lamb production levels will likely be near last year, the record setting lamb prices have been driven by exceptional domestic demand. Per capita lamb consumption for 2021 is expected to be over 1.3 pounds per person for the year, which would be the highest level since the early 1990s.

A recent survey of lamb consumers by the American Lamb Board concluded that improved lamb consumption has been linked to the availability of more lamb cuts in grocery stores year-round and not just around holidays.

Source: Livestock Marketing Information Center


Changes Coming to Lamb Promotion, Research & Information Order

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced the final rule with changes to the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order this week in the Federal Register. The changes go into effect on Jan. 21, 2022.

This rulemaking revises the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order, requiring market agencies (e.g., commission merchant, auction market, livestock market) in the business of receiving lambs to collect and remit on behalf of the producer, feeder or seedstock producer, the “live-weight” assessment on ovine animals sold and the “price-per-head” assessment owed by the first handler when lambs are sold through these channels.

Market agencies are required to remit the full assessment to the American Lamb Board (also known as the Lamb, Promotion, Research and Information Board) when ovine animals are sold. This rulemaking includes technical amendments to the order, correcting references to assessment rates that were inadvertently not updated during the previous amendment to the order.

Click Here for the Federal Register listing.


Sheats to Lead USDA’s Market News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is pleased to announce Michael Sheats as the new director of Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Sheats will take over for Mike Lynch, who retires Dec. 31. Lynch’s leadership through the years has fostered an organization that is well-rooted in the mission of AMS and Market News and remains keenly focused on constantly improving the information provided to industry stakeholders.

Sheats brings nearly 38 years of experience providing critical market intelligence to the agricultural industry. He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and began his career with AMS as an agricultural commodity grader. Sheats later joined Market News, where he filled various roles including developing the regulation implementing the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999.

Most recently, he served as director of the Agricultural Analytics Division which brings together market analytic, economic, scientific and statistical expertise in support of department and agency functions. He can be reached at or by phone at 202-690-3145.

Source: USDA/AMS

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