July 12 ASI Weekly
ASI Executive Board Recommends 2019-2020 Budgets
The American Sheep Industry Association Executive Board met Tuesday, July 9, in Harrisburg, Penn., with the main goal of reviewing association budgets for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The executive board unanimously recommended approval of the Wool Trust and Fund II budgets for the coming year, which begins on Oct. 1.
The budgets will now go out for final approval by the entire board of directors.
The executive board was in Pennsylvania to take part in the National Lamb Feeders Association’s Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School. The board toured Marcho Farms, New Holland Sales Stables and John Black’s Livestock on Monday and interacted with the dozen plus school participants before spending a full day addressing ASI business and association strategic planning on Tuesday.
ASI Submits Idaho Wildlife Services EIS Comments
In May 2017, Western Watersheds and others filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services seeking to disrupt the agency’s Predator Damage Management program in the state of Idaho on procedural grounds.
The lawsuit claimed that Wildlife Services’ reliance on an Environmental Assessment was insufficient for their predator management activities in Idaho and that the agency needed to prepare a more comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement. Siding with the plaintiffs in the matter, Chief U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered Wildlife Services to either prepare an EIS or supply what the court stated was a “convincing statement of reasons” why the Environmental Assessment was sufficient.
Thanks to the intervention in the case by the Idaho Wool Growers Association – supported by the American Sheep Industry Association’s Guard Dog Program – Judge Winmill did not order Wildlife Services to cease their predator damage management operations in Idaho during the time it takes to prepare an EIS – a process that often exceeds three years. In response to the court’s decision, Wildlife Services published a notice in the Federal Register of their intent to prepare an EIS for Predator Damage Management in Idaho.
On Wednesday, ASI joined with many others in commenting in support of the development of the EIS, urging the agency to continue the program as it has successfully operated and further to rely on the research and analysis of the National Wildlife Research Center in drafting the EIS. ASI’s comments highlighted the impact of the program to not only sheep producers, but to the broader economy in the state.
“We urge the agency adopt the ‘no action’ alternative in the development of this EIS. Annually, wildlife causes more than $12.8 billion in damage to natural resources, public infrastructure, private property and agriculture. Wildlife Services efforts benefit not only livestock producers but dairy and field crop producers, civil aviation, utilities and critical infrastructure, and prevent the spread of wildlife-borne pathogens to humans.
“In Idaho in 2017, Wildlife Services euthanized, removed or relocated nearly 160,000 animal species – 152,000 of which were invasive species. Wildlife Services is the first line of defense against Rabies, Lyme Disease, Chronic Wasting Disease and West Nile Virus among many others. As we have seen from both the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ and most recently China and southern Asia’s experience with African Swine Fever, our personal safety and national food security are inexorably reliant on our ability to responsibly manage our environment.”
ASI and the Idaho Wool Growers will continue to work together to monitor the progress and provide the agency with input to ensure the success of the program for the benefit of sheep producers.
Texas Producer to Testify to House Subcommittee
Sheep producer Steve Salmon of San Angelo, Texas, has been invited to testify next week on behalf of the American sheep industry before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.
Salmon will appear before the subcommittee on Tuesday, July 16, to talk about a handful of priority issues affecting the American sheep industry, including: wool and sheepskin trade with China, Bighorn sheep and domestic grazing allotments, Mandatory Price Reporting for lamb, Minor Use Animal Drug Program, Wildlife Services, the H-2A Sheepherder Program, the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, and Scrapie. ASI President Benny Cox recommended Salmon – a prominent member of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association and regular participant of the ASI Spring Trip to Washington, D.C., for consideration by the subcommittee.
Wisconsin Farm Family Deals with Wolf Attack
Ashleigh Calaway of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau wrote this week about dealing with a wolf attack on the family’s sheep flock last weekend.
“On July 8, my father in law walked down to the sheep pasture to check on the flock, the same way he has for over twenty years. It was a beautiful summer morning, feeling much cooler after a spell of heat and humidity had just ended, but only one ewe greeted him. It was by the grace of God that she was there.
“As he began checking fence to see where the sheep might have gone, he saw a sight straight out of our worst nightmares. He started to find the massacred remains of our family’s flock of sheep. This wasn’t my family’s first go around with a wolf kill on the farm, so my father in-law knew what to do.
“Less than two hours later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife adjuster was out and began his investigation and, after finding tracks, was able to confirm it was a wolf kill.
“Imagine waking up one morning and everything that you have worked toward for the last thirty years is gone. In a blink of an eye you have lost over thirty years of genetics. Thirty years of blood, sweat and tears. Just to be told that there is nothing you can really do about it except fill out some paperwork and wait for a small reimbursement that won’t equal the true value of the animals you lost
“How do you move on? How do you recover?”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting comments on delisting the gray wolf through Monday, July 15.
Source: Wisconsin Farm Bureau
Wool Market Heads into Break on Positive Note
Week two on the Australian wool selling program was the final sale before the annual mid-year three-week recess. This sale represented the final meaningful opportunity for buyers and exporters to secure wool until August. It was also the final chance for exporters to finish any orders needing to be shipped over the coming weeks.
These factors helped keep the market on an upward path following the price increases experienced during the previous series. Due to seasonal conditions, the size of the Australian wool clip is expected to decline again this season. There were 34,080 bales rostered for sale, this now means that when compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, the amount of wool offered at auction has fallen by 19,350 bales – a reduction of 22.9 percent.
Positive buyer sentiment was again evident from the start of the series. Although main buyer focus was on the better-styled lines and wools with favorable additional measurements, all types and descriptions recorded increases for the week. These rises were reflected in the individual Micron Price Guides, which generally gained 10 to 40 cents for the series as the North and West enjoying the biggest lifts. The rises in the MPGs helped to push the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator up by 31 cents, which closed the week at 1,754 Australian cents.
The EMI has now risen for both sales of the 2019-20 season, a much-welcomed result after the prolonged run of losses to finish the 2018-19 season. The mid-year break is the time many exporters take the opportunity to visit overseas clients.
The positive movement of the market is timely, as making sales in a depressed market can be very difficult. As mentioned earlier, the market now heads into a three-week recess. Sales will resume on Aug. 5.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION