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USDA Releases Sheep Death Loss Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System has released the Sheep Death Loss 2020: Sheep and Lamb Predator and Nonpredator Death Loss in the United States report on Tableau. The interactive dashboard can be accessed here.

The study is a collaborative effort between USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service; USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services; and NAHMS. The dashboard contains data from sheep death loss studies dating back to 1995. The iterations occur every five years along with NASS’s Sheep and Goat survey.

Sheep Death Loss 2020 report highlights:

  • Approximately 5.2 million sheep and lambs were raised on 99,364 operations.
  • Approximately 607,000 sheep and lambs – valuing $121.6 million – were lost in 2019.
  • Sheep losses of 219,000 in 2019 accounted for 6.8 percent of the January 2020 adult sheep inventory; lamb losses of 388,000 in 2019 accounted for 12 percent of the 2019 lamb crop lost.
  • In 2019, predation accounted for 32.6 percent of adult sheep losses and 40.1 percent of lamb losses.
  • The leading known nonpredator causes of loss for adult sheep were old age, internal parasites and lambing problems. For lambs, the leading known nonpredator causes of loss were weather-related causes, internal parasites and lambing problems.
  • The main predators causing loss of adult sheep were coyotes, dogs and bears. The main predators causing loss of lambs were coyotes, dogs and mountain lions.
  • Approximately $51.4 million was spent by 77.1 percent of operators who used nonlethal predator damage management methods. The use of these methods has been trending upward since 2004. Methods included fencing, night penning and the use of lamb sheds.
  • Approximately $4.7 million was spent by the 13.4 percent of operators who used lethal predator damage management methods.
  • New information included in the latest report includes:
    • Producer-reported costs of non-lethal and lethal predator damage management methods.
    • Use of lethal predator damage management methods.
    • Use of government assistance to manage predator damage.
    • Use of official identification.
    • Number of producers ceasing sheep operation and their reasons.

Questions and comments about the study or dashboard can be directed to Matthew Branan,



SheepCast: Sheep Import Rule, ELAP & Hauling

This week, the American Sheep Industry Association SheepCast takes a look at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final rule on the importation of sheep and goats, drought relief for ranchers, and talk about the extended COVID emergency declaration for hauling livestock and feed.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


USDA/APHIS Finalize Import Regulations for Sheep

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced it published the final rule updating import regulations for sheep, goats and meat from these animals.

The rule was proposed in 2016, and the American Sheep Industry Association submitted comments. Since that time, ASI has urged successive administrations to prioritize export opportunities for American lamb over additional imports. ASI continues to work with Congress and the administration to understand the impact of this rule and protect the interests of American sheep producers.

Click Here and select the Trade option for more information from ASI on this rule.

Click Here for the final rule.


MIWW Contest Needs Two Producer Judges

Make It With Wool is looking for two wool producers (male or female) to serve as judges for the National Make It With Wool Finals during the American Sheep Industry Association’s 2022 Annual Convention in San Diego next month. Volunteers will help determine which fashions best represent the American wool industry.

There will be a total of six judges – two who specialize in fashion design, two who specialize in clothing construction and two wool producers. These hard-to-fill wool producer positions are critical, as it is the wool industry’s product Make It With Wool is marketing.

Judging is an all-day event scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Jan. 21. National Make It With Wool Director Lynda Jordan Johnson will hold a 30-minute judges’ meeting to start the day. After the meeting, judges break into two groups and judge clothing construction for their respective age division (Junior or Senior). There will be a break for lunch, and judges receive a complimentary meal at the hotel restaurant. Fashion judging takes place immediately after lunch and typically takes until 5 p.m.

Please consider volunteering. For more information, contact Arizona Make It With Wool Director Rali Burleson at or 480-948-6258.

Source: Make It With Wool


Australian Market Rises for Third Straight Week

The Australian wool market recorded another small overall increase this week, pushed mainly by increases in selected Merino fleece wool types. The national offering rose by 1,852 bales as there were 39,577 bales available to the trade.

Good-style wools 17.5 micron and finer recorded solid increases. The individual Micron Price Guides in Sydney and Melbourne added between 5 and 35 cents for the series. Wools 20 micron and broader also attracted strong buyer demand, pushing prices higher as a result. Across the country, the MPGs for 20 to 22 rose between 6 and 20 cents.

These rises – combined with minimal movements in the other sectors – helped push the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator up by 5 cents for the series, closing at 1,346 Australian cents. The EMI has now risen for three consecutive selling series. This is the first time in the 2021-22 selling season that the EMI has managed this feat. The last time the EMI recorded a larger upward run was at the end of the previous season, where the EMI rose for six consecutive weeks (Weeks 47-52).

Due to currency movements (the AUD dropped 0.46 cents compared to the U.S. dollar from last week) when viewed in USD terms, the EMI recorded a small 3-cent loss. The total dollar amount sold through the auction system passed the billion-dollar mark in this series. The higher prices being achieved this season – compared to last – means this feat was achieved much earlier than last season. In the 2020-21 season, the billion-dollar mark was not reached until Week 32 (February).

The carding market also had a very steady series. Minimal price movements in locks, stains and crutchings brought about an average rise in the three Merino Carding indicators of 1 cent.

Next week’s offering remains similar as 41,362 bales are currently expected to be offered.

Source: AWEX


Senators Request Additional Drought Relief

U.S. Sens. John Thune (S.D.) – a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee – and Jon Tester (Mont.) led a bipartisan group of senators this week in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency to address a gap in coverage under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program. In September, USDA announced it would provide ELAP assistance for the cost of transporting feed to livestock, but producers who are transporting their livestock to feed are not eligible for the program.

“We continue to hear from producers who have been severely affected by drought this year and have incurred costs related to transporting their livestock to feed sources instead of hauling feed to their livestock,” the senators wrote. “Under current regulations, these producers are not eligible for ELAP transportation assistance. We respectfully request that FSA exercise its authority to further improve ELAP by providing payments to producers for a portion of the costs they have incurred from transporting their livestock to feed sources.”

The letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Steve Daines (Mont.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and Tina Smith (Minn.).

The American Sheep Industry Association led a letter to FSA on the issue at the end of November.

“We have heard from many of our producer members in the areas impacted that hauling livestock to feed; rather than feed to livestock opens additional options for feedstuffs and is more economically efficient,” read the letter signed by ASI, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau and the Public Lands Council. “At a time when finding forage is a challenge, the ability to look at feed that is not available to haul – like beet tops or corn stalks – is significant. Additionally, this reduces the number of loads needed thus reducing the cost to the producer and the need to find more livestock haulers, which is critical in light of the pandemic-related supply chain shortages we are facing.

“Our understanding is that under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, the secretary has made available a 60 percent cost-share to haul additional needed feed at a rate up to $6.60 per mile, not to exceed 1,000 miles (a higher percentage cost-share for socially disadvantaged livestock producers). We believe that the same parameters would be sufficient for hauling livestock to feed.

“Therefore, we respectfully request USDA/FSA make additional flexibility available to cost-share hauling livestock to feed under the same guidelines currently in place for hauling feed to livestock to address this gap in coverage under ELAP.”


ALB Offers Wine Pairing Class

Planning a holiday soirée? Get prepared to be the best entertainer around after attending the American lamb and wine pairing class.

The American Lamb Board invites you to join a virtual Lamb & Wine Pairing Class with help from Austin, Texas, sommelier Jessica Dupuy. ALB will share a few favorite holiday lamb dishes along with the perfect paired varietal for each. Not sure which wine to serve with something like a braised lamb shank or a lamb crostini appetizer? The class has you covered. Dupuy will also pass along some of her most tried and true wine entertaining tips from decanting, choosing glassware and more.

The virtual event is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 9, at 5 p.m. mountain time. Spots are filling up quickly, so be sure to snag yours.

Click Here to register.

Source: ALB

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